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Island Grill Sovereign aims for mid-December reopening

Published:Wednesday | November 26, 2014 | 12:00 AMTameka Gordon

Thalia Lyn, the owner and chief executive officer of the Island Grill quick-service restaurant chain, is eyeing the second week of December to reopen the fire-damaged outlet at the Sovereign Centre mall in Liguanea in time for the usual Christmas rush.

Lyn said the fire of November 17 caused an estimated $5 million of damage. Firefighters said the blaze was caused by a blocked exhaust pipe.

The outlet suffered major

damage to its electrical wiring which will need to be completely redone, Lyn told Wednesday Business.

"There was so much water damage (that) we have to rewire the whole store. The big thing that has to be replaced is an exhaust fan," she said, adding that estimates for repairs was still being tallied.

"We are working hard on it. The exhaust fan has been sourced," the CEO said.

Some of the 30 staff employed at Island Grill Sovereign have been deployed to other outlets in the chain, and those with outstanding vacation days were sent on leave.

"I am hoping to reopen to get some of the December sales. It looks as if I will be able to do that, but I will have a better idea by the end of the day," Lyn said on Friday.

She also expressed gratitude to the staff and neighbouring food operators for their "quick and decisive" response, which helped to contain the damage to Island Grill.

Lyn is currently upgrading Island Grill outlets and products to tap the 18- to 25-year-old market segment.

The Manor Park location was closed a week ago to facilitate renovations in this regard, "So to have two stores closed at

the same time, coming on to Christmas, is really hard for us," she said. That store reopened on Monday.

Sovereign "is one of our busiest stores, so we are really hoping to reopen at the end of the second week in December," said Lyn.

The Island Grill chain spans 17 outlets.