Italian restaurant Tarantino in Hornchurch gutted by fire to reopen this summer

A restaurant which was destroyed by fire could reopen a year almost to the day it was struck by the blaze.

Owners of Tarantino Italian restaurant, in High Street, Hornchurch, are making the final preparations and hope to launch by the end of the month.

Co-owner Stefano Perilly, said: “We’re probably about two or three weeks away. It could be nearly a year to the day. It’s just unbelievable. The time has flown by.”

Contractors are currently putting their finishing touches to the building and are expected to be giving the keys back this week.

Mr Perilly said: “Then we’ve got work to do putting the tables and chairs back in place, the crockery and cutlery, stocking the bar and fridges and freezers and getting it checked by environmental health.”

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The fire on July 23 last year started in a first floor storage area above the restaurant due to an electrical fault in a fridge.

The roof was completely destroyed. It collapsed into the restaurant below which was smoke and water damaged.

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Mr Perilly also lost some personal items in the fire which he was storing above the restaurant including photos and plates left for his wife after her mother and grandmother died.

“You can’t replace those things. It has been such a terrible year for all of us. What we’ve lost in business for the year I can’t even put a figure on,” he added.

The staff, including 10 new recruits, are ready to start.

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