Plans are underway to restore the Reo’s Ribs building at at 4211 N.E. Sandy Boulevard in the heart of the Hollywood district, after a fire caused significant damage to the well-loved barbecue restaurant during the early morning hours of Monday, May 8.
Reo’s is co-owned by Reo Varnado and Myra Girod, who opened their business in the former home of the Hollywood Burger Bar in November 2015. Investigators with Portland Fire and Rescue have determined that there is no evidence to support the likelihood that the fire was an act of arson and that the fire started outside the building near, or inside, a meat smoker.
“We’re in the progress of making progress,” said building owner Leon Drennan. “My insurance company has paid what they’re going to pay and Reo and Myra are working with their insurance folks too. The interior and structural damage actually ended up being less than we anticipated, so the good news is that we just need to clean it up and get it rebuilt and we have Kennedy Fire and Restoration working on that now.”
City code will require at least one, and possibly two, ADA bathrooms to be installed as part of the restoration project and Drennan plans to de-emphasize the building’s Middle Eastern motif – a relic from the days when the building served as home to the Aladdin Dry Cleaners. The interior layout of the building is still being determined, but the exterior footprint of the former trolley station will remain largely unchanged.
“We’ll have fewer nooks and crannies in there,” said Drennan. “We actually found another fireplace in one of the walls that we didn’t know about. The end result will be a much cleaner and nicer building. Then we just need to get Reo back up and running and cooking again.”
“Once we get the plans through the city, things should move quickly and we’d like to be able to open in the spring,” said Girod. “I believe it will be a beautiful building when it’s finished and we can’t wait to see all our friends and neighbors In Hollywood again.”
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/reosribs.com.