One of Madison’s most popular restaurants, Ricardo’s Kouzzina, is closed temporarily after a kitchen fire broke out on Tuesday, Nov. 1, damaging floors and essential equipment necessary to operate the upscale eatery.
According to Owner Ricardo Casillas, a gas hose connected to one of the stoves combusted and burst into flames during the end of the lunch rush on Nov. 1.
“It was around 1:30 p.m. when the fire broke out. It got bad but we were able to evacuate all of our customers and employees quickly,” said Casillas.
According to Casillas, the restaurant’s sprinkler system extinguished the fire before it spread too far beyond the kitchen. However, there is also water damage to parts of the kitchen and dining areas due to the sprinklers.
“The fire mostly damaged flooring and kitchen equipment,” said Casillas. “There was also some damage to the floors in the dining area where servers prepare drinks.”
Casillas is hoping to reopen the restaurant to the public by Nov. 17, but is not certain if that is possible.
“That’s the hope, it could be sooner or longer. It’s not really up to me,” said Casillas. “We are working with different contractors on the repairs and replacing equipment. It’s just such a busy time and a lot of contractors are behind. But we are doing everything we can and working hard to reopen to the public as soon as possible.”
Ricardo’s Kouzzina is located at 271 West Washington St. in Madison. The downtown restaurant is known for its seafood cuisine, Italian dishes, and family-friendly atmosphere.
Casillas moved to the United States from Mexico in the 1980s, first to California and eventually finding his way to Georgia in the mid-1990s. He has been a long-time chef in Athens and Madison, operating different restaurant ventures before opening Ricardo’s Kouzzina in 2013.
Casillas said he is thankful for the community support and patience as he and his staff work to repair the restaurant after the fire.
“We look forward to opening again and getting back to what we do best,” said Casillas.