APTOS — One month to the day after the popular Hideout restaurant in Aptos was gutted by an early morning blaze, demolition work got underway to get the eatery back on its feet.
By noon on Monday a crew used heavy equipment to begin gnawing away at the blackened wood structure at 9051 Soquel Drive.
Mike DeMars, Fire Marshal for Central and Aptos/La Selva Fire, said no injuries were reported in the 2:05 a.m. blaze on May 20 that destroyed the restaurant, which featured indoor and outdoor seating, a full bar and a cozy atmosphere.
DeMars said the fire appeared to be accidental.
The day after the fire property owner Dale Berman was on scene surveying the damage. He was back at the scene on Monday excited to see work getting started.
“It’s one step at a time,” he said. “I’m just glad to have the process set in motion.”
Berman said he knows a lot of names in local construction companies, which he said would give him a boost in the rebuild, and that he wanted to use “local talent” in rebuilding the business.
“Right now it looks like we’re in line to get this place up and running in about nine months — that’s what we’re aiming for,” Berman said back in May.
The Hideout “family” started a GoFundMe account to help defray rebuilding costs and raised more than $44,000 of their $50,000 goal.
Paul Furman, manager at California Pajarosa of Watsonville, said his business also helped generate money for the Hideout at the recent Monterey Bay Greenhouse Tour.
“I live in Aptos. I know these people and they’re kind people that we wanted to help,” Furman said. “They offer kind service, great food and we just wanted to help.”
A statement from Hideout on the GoFundMe read: “Words can not begin to describe the overwhelming love and support The Hideout family feels from this community. Yes, we have suffered a devastating loss, but right now our focus is to do what a family does and support one another by helping all of our employees find good employment they need. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. — The Hideout Family.”
On the same website, Larry Griffin wrote: “I donated because these are my brothers, they make EVERYONE feel welcome, and they need our help to get back to doing what they do best - serving our local community. I love you guys.”