Updated: Owner hopes fire-damaged restaurant can reopen soon

Ott's Drive-In, Rantoul, was damaged in a grill fire Tuesday morning. Owner Tony Grilo said he hopes the eatery can reopen soon.

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RANTOUL — A popular Rantoul restaurant that was damaged by fire last week was back open during the weekend.

Ott’s Drive-In, 400 N. Century Blvd., reopened Saturday.

That’s just two days after owner Tony Grilo had originally hoped to reopen and just four days after the fire.

Grilo last week said he had hoped to get the restaurant back open for business on Thursday but then realized it would take a little longer because an insurance representative needed to examine the building.

A grill fire damaged the longtime restaurant.

Rantoul Fire Chief Ken Waters said firefighters were dispatched to the scene at 9:19 a.m.

The fire was contained to the grill area, but the restaurant suffered significant smoke damage.

“We estimate that there is about $40,000 in damages,” Waters said.

Grilo said the grill “started flaming up.”

He said employees quickly shut down the gas, exited the building and called 911.

“The fire department was super, super quick on it. They were able to prevent any bad damage. They’re really good,” Grilo said.

The building will have to be cleaned and repaired.

No injuries were reported.

Firefighters cleared the scene at 9:45 a.m.

dhinton@rantoulpress.com

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