Fire Damages Luzerne County Restaurant

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PLAINS TOWNSHIP -- Flames badly damaged a restaurant in Luzerne County.

Dan's Keystone Grille on Union Street near Wilkes-Barre went up after 2:30 a.m. Friday

Crews were able to get the fire under control quickly.

The owner of a longtime neighborhood bar and restaurant near Wilkes-Barre is trying to figure out what to do next.

Folks at Dan's Keystone Grill will be doing lots of cleaning and fixing up instead of serving dinner and drinks, at least for a couple of weeks.

The bar and restaurant off Union Street near Wilkes-Barre is a mess after a fire ripped through the bar area early Friday morning.

The owner was on vacation in Atlantic City when he received the early morning call from authorities.

"I know when the phone rings and it's 3 a.m. in the morning, and I see who's calling, I know it's not a good sign," said owner Dan Androckitis.

Just last month, Dan's Keystone Grill celebrated its 12 year anniversary. Androckitis calls it the neighborhood go-to bar in this Plains Township community. But instead of helping to throw a party, folks are helping to throw away debris burned in the fire.

"It just meant a lot a lot to the family, especially Dan, this was his dream," said former employee Mary Yakabovicz.

Despite all the damage in the bar area, the restaurant and the kitchen virtually has no damage. And because of that, the owner says he plans to rebuild.

"We're going to come back to it. We have a lot of hard work, get our hands dirty, but we'll be back, we'll be back."

Some folks who live near the bar hope they come back soon, too.

"It's a shame. I've known them for years, they've been there for most of my life, and I know Dan, and I know the workers. And it's like a little community here and it's a shame. When i heard about it, my heart broke," said neighbor Courtney O'Mera.

Investigators are ruling the fire accidental. The owner says it may have happened from a cigarette butt thrown into a trash can. The bar was closed at the time the fire broke out and no one was in the building.

As for the owner, he doesn't have insurance, but hopes to reopen in a couple weeks.

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