Bay Area/ San Jose/ Food & Drinks
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Published on June 20, 2024
Fire Damages New Redwood City Restaurant Mazra Just Two Months After OpeningSource: Google Street View

A two-alarm fire broke out at the popular Mediterranean restaurant Mazra in Redwood City on Tuesday evening, causing extensive damage to the establishment, which opened its doors only two months ago. According to Mercury News, the blaze started near the kitchen's 18-foot, wood-fired charcoal grill and spurred a flurry of evacuation as the staff and some 120 patrons were ushered out without injury. Co-owner Jordan Makableh recounted the efforts to extinguish the spreading flames, "Every time I extinguished it, it would just reignite."

The Makableh brothers, who are at the helm of the family-operated eatery, remained optimistic despite the setback. The fire reportedly did not reach the customer seating area but ravaged parts of the kitchen, ceiling, and hallway. In an emotional statement detailed by Mercury News, Jordan Makableh expressed a mix of confusion and sadness, particularly for the nearly 50 employees left without work during the repair period. "As dark of a time as this might be, we are also stupidly, beyond grateful, without a doubt," he added, acknowledging the strong community support that followed the incident.

Redwood City Fire Department Battalion Chief Chris Cottle explained that while the fire wasn't massive, it was challenging to control because it traveled through "nooks and crannies" of the somewhat older building. Cleanup involved extensive removal of panels to eliminate the fire, resulting in significant collateral damage. Cottle's insights were shared in an article by RWC Pulse, which also noted that no injuries were reported during the evacuation of the premises.

The cause of the fire is suspected to be related to the charcoal from the indoor grill, as co-owner Saif Makableh suggested to RWC Pulse. The restaurant is no stranger to obstacles, having opened its first San Bruno location at the onset of the pandemic restrictions and earning top Yelp accolades despite industry-wide challenges. The Redwood City venue featured an all-halal menu with Levantine flavors and aimed for perfection with their grill setup, which unfortunately became the site of this mishap.

Mazra's dedication to safety and regulations was evident in their anticipation of fire hazards, as they were in the process of installing a new firebox that had just been approved. Saif Makableh lamented the timing, telling RWC Pulse, "We thought what we did was enough but there are extra measures that we now know we have to take". As they face the future, the Makablehs are committed to rebuilding, aiming to reopen in four to six weeks pending repairs and regulatory clearances, intertwining their family's resolve with the fortitude of a community that has shown immense support.