BUFFALO, NY – A historic restaurant on Buffalo’s East Side will have to close its doors after a fire early Saturday morning.
Gigi’s Soul Food Restaurant on East Ferry Street caught fire around 12:45 a.m. The Buffalo Fire Department estimated the damage was roughly $150,000; $100,000 to the building and $50,000 to the contents.
There were no injuries reported in the fire.
A cook from the restaurant said that the restaurant was a total loss and believes the cause was a grease fire.
At this point it is unclear if Gigi’s will rebuild. We spoke to Gigi’s owner, Blondine Harvin, as she arrived at the scene Saturday afternoon. She has operated the restaurant for 60 years. Asked if she thought there was a possibility the restaurant could reopen, she said, “Our customers have been here for years, we can’t let them down.”
Ellicott District Councilman and community leader Rev. Darius Pridgen said on his Facebook page Saturday that he was looking to raise $12,000 to help Gigi’s 12 employees who are currently without jobs. Volunteers have started a “Gigi’s fire help” Go Fund Me page to accept donations.
“Trust me, the lady will rise again!” says Pridgen.