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updated: 1/29/2019 1:16 PM

Durty Nellie’s hopes to reopen portion of venue in two weeks

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  • Palatine firefighters work to extinguish a natural gas-fed fire Friday morning at Durty Nellie's. Owners hope to reopen at least a portion of the venue in two weeks.

    Palatine firefighters work to extinguish a natural gas-fed fire Friday morning at Durty Nellie's. Owners hope to reopen at least a portion of the venue in two weeks.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

 
 

Days after the fire that shuttered Durty Nellie's in downtown Palatine, the bar and music establishment has set an ambitious schedule in hopes of reopening at least a portion of the venue in two weeks, officials said Monday.

"It's gonna be all hands on deck and it's gonna be money is no object," said Jamie Barr, Durty Nellie's marketing and events director.

Friday's midmorning blaze at 180 N. Smith St. was under control in less than an hour as firefighters extended five hose lines and Nicor Gas shut off natural gas service to the building. Three cooks and three members of the bar cleaning staff evacuated unharmed.

The main pub area, which sustained water and smoke damage, is being renovated, including replacing the bar, floor, beverage service lines and televisions, Barr said. The cold coupled with the extensive water load buckled the wooden portion of the floor. Tiles, which cover the other half of the floor, don't have to be replaced, she added.

The wooden bar wasn't damaged, but owners have been meaning to replace it, so will do so while other renovations are taking place, Barr said.

The kitchen, where the gas-fueled fire started, was destroyed. It could take at least a month to rebuild and get it in working order, she said.

The owners have set a goal of March 1, but they're also looking for guidance from village officials, who are set to meet with them today. That meeting -- for inspectors from the village, fire department and Nicor Gas to look at the building -- had been scheduled for Monday but was delayed because of the winter storm, Barr said.

The second-floor mezzanine and band room weren't damaged because fireproof doors between those areas and the kitchen were closed. But it also may be until March 1 for the venue to reopen for concerts, if inspectors give the building their stamp of approval.

Ten bands scheduled between now and then have been postponed. Tickets for the all-ages performance by Disney cover band The Little Mermen, scheduled for Friday, Feb. 1, will be honored at The Wire in Berwyn. Fundraisers and other private events also must be canceled while the venue is closed.