Baltic, the restaurant and bar on London's South Bank which specialises in Eastern European cooking, is to reopen today after a major kitchen fire closed the business for four weeks.
As well as causing extensive damage to the kitchen, the blaze badly impacted the dining area above and the roof. The cause of the fire is still not known.
Jan Woroniecki, the owner of the restaurant, on Blackfriars Road, said he had been concerned the business would be closed for the Olympic, "I'm delighted that we're opening in time," he added. "If it weren't for the round-the-clock hard work of our staff and builders, this just wouldn't have been possible."
Woroniecki said he was grateful to the fire services for acting quickly to prevent the fire from escalating further. "It would have been a disaster had the fire spread to the main restaurant area, which is a beautifully renovated, Grade II-listed, 18th-century former coach-builder's works.
"The original beams would have gone up in a flash. We were very lucky."
Baltic specialises in dishes from Russia, Poland, Hungary, Georgia and central Asia. Its menus includes the likes of chargrilled leg of lamb with aubergine, peppers and saffron guvech; pan-fried sea bream fillet with kohlrabi, caper and cucumber salad; and spiced beef and smoked sausage stew with peppers, gherkins and potato dumplings.
By Janet Harmer
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