La Petite Petanque in Southend forced to close after blaze

Fire wrecks Southend restaurant

Fire wrecks Southend restaurant

First published in Echo News by

A POPULAR restaurant has been forced to close after a fire wrecked its kitchen.

La Petite Petanque, in Cambridge Square Gardens, Southend, was left badly damaged by the blaze.

The fire, at 11pm on Sunday, is being investigated, but it is not thought to be suspicious.

However, it could have been worse had it not been spotted by the manager’s daughter.

Luba Filkova lives near the restaurant with her daughter Caroline.

She said: “My daughter looked out of the window and saw smoke coming from the restaurant.

I jumped out of bed and ran out in my pyjamas.

“We called the fire brigade and they got there very quickly and did a very good job, but there is a lot of damage.

“We don’t know how it started.

I have had to cancel all our bookings for the next four weeks and I don’t think we will be open until March.”

Devastated owner Julie Rooke, who took over the bistro-style venue in 2011, said: “We are going to be closed for four to six weeks. It’s all very upsetting.

“The fire has destroyedmost of the kitchen, but it’s all going to be done up again. Lots of our lovely regulars have offered to help. They have been wonderful.”

The restaurant is set in the tranquil bowling green in a conservation area away from the hustle and bustle of the town.

The pavilion building is owned by Southend Council, which has inspected the damage.

A spokesman said: “Our officers are working closely with the La Petite Petanque tenants and their insurers to get the business back open again as soon as possible.”

Comments (5)

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8:21pm Fri 14 Feb 14

QuestionTime says...

Julie, you may want to have the restaurant telephone number diverted to your mobile as it can be very frustrating for customers who are unaware of your situation not to get an answer when trying to make a booking.
Julie, you may want to have the restaurant telephone number diverted to your mobile as it can be very frustrating for customers who are unaware of your situation not to get an answer when trying to make a booking. QuestionTime
  • Score: 11

10:40pm Fri 14 Feb 14

You'dfeelbetterforknowingthat says...

Good opp for a bit of modernisation...
Good opp for a bit of modernisation... You'dfeelbetterforknowingthat
  • Score: -14

1:14am Sat 15 Feb 14

upthefront says...

Such a shame.Hope it opens again soon.It's a great little place,friendly staff and fantastic food.Was gonna go there tomorrow and i've just read this :(
Such a shame.Hope it opens again soon.It's a great little place,friendly staff and fantastic food.Was gonna go there tomorrow and i've just read this :( upthefront
  • Score: 22

12:29pm Sat 15 Feb 14

Letmetryagain says...

Never been there, but it sounds ok.

First thing the insurance people will do, is look at their accounts.
Never been there, but it sounds ok. First thing the insurance people will do, is look at their accounts. Letmetryagain
  • Score: -7

6:57pm Mon 17 Feb 14

tws123 says...

Eaten here before and thought it was wonderful. Hope they get it fixed and open up again soon!
Eaten here before and thought it was wonderful. Hope they get it fixed and open up again soon! tws123
  • Score: 8

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