By: Elizabeth Dinan, Seacoast Online
Ten months after flooding from firefighting efforts closed Louie’s restaurant, co-owner James Woodhouse said he still plans to reopen at the 86 Pleasant St. location, but it’s going to be months before that occurs.
Louie’s closed after an April 10, 2017, fire destroyed two adjacent State Street buildings, damaged a third and soaked the interior of the Louie’s building. Woodhouse said Tuesday he and co-owner R.J. Joyce still plan to re-open, but they don’t own the building, so they’re “at the mercy of the landlord.”
“We absolutely are” reopening at the same location, he said, “but it’s at least a year away.”
The property owner -- a realty trust with co-owners Keith and Kathleen Malinowski -- has recently been meeting with the Historic District Commission for work sessions about plans to renovate the building. Through McHenry Architecture, they’re seeking approvals to remove the Louie’s storefront and replace it with a new design that’s flush with the rest of the building. The plans also call for renovating the portion of the building on the Church Street side.
After last year’s fire, Woodhouse said he had closed Louie’s for a week to repair floors damaged by a burst pipe, reopened the first week of March 2017, then his restaurant was drenched by water from the firefighting efforts. He said there was eight feet of standing water in the basement of Louie’s, as well as soaked floors and ceilings.
He said firefighters “worked like hell to keep our building from going down” and it is “unbelievable that there was not a singe of fire” on his restaurant.
“So we feel incredibly fortunate,” Woodhouse said after the fire. “The fact that they were able to keep our building from going down is incredible.”
Woodhouse and Joyce announced last week that they purchased The Carriage House restaurant in Rye and plan to close it for six to eight weeks for renovations, then reopen under the same name.
Read the complete article on seacoastonline.com.