Early morning fire levels Aptos restaurant

Firefighters inspect the charred remains of the Hideout cocktails & dining restaurant in Aptos Monday morning. — Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian

Rebuilding already in the works

APTOS — An early morning fire roared through the popular Hideout restaurant in Aptos Monday.

Mike DeMars, Fire Marshal for Central and Aptos/La Selva Fire, said no injuries were reported in the 2:05 a.m. blaze that destroyed the building at 9051 Soquel Drive.

The first Aptos/La Selva firefighters to arrive were faced with towering flames that gushed out the roof of the older section of the building. Flames largely engulfed the rear of the structure near the kitchen and then spread through the main dining portion of the restaurant. At one point large sections of the roof caved in and numerous windows were blown out by the heat, DeMars said.

“Right now it appears that the fire started at the outside of the building by the kitchen,” DeMars said. “On initial inspection the fire does not appear to be intentional, but the incident is still under investigation. The building is a total loss, with the roof collapsing and water and smoke damage throughout the restaurant.”

On Monday morning stunned owners of the business were on hand to begin the painful chore of picking through the rubble.

The Hideout served a wide menu, from Mediterranean to California grill, as well as Asian fusion, Italian, seafood, soups, sandwiches and burgers in addition to running a full bar. The business also featured indoor and outdoor seating.

It got its name due to its location, which is tucked back in a cove of redwood trees off Soquel Drive, the frontage section of the heavily travelled road that flanks Highway 1 between Aptos Village and Rio Del Mar Boulevard.

On Tuesday afternoon property owner Dale Berman said he already had plans in motion to rebuild.

“I know a lot of building contractors in the area, some that have come to this restaurant,” he said. “This way I can use local talent and keep the business local. We have already had a lot of support from our community and that is how we’re going to get this done. 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.”

The crew at The Hideout have started a GoFundMe account to help defray rebuilding costs. Visit www.gofundme.com/the-hideout-fire to make a donation.

They have already raised more than $20,000 of their $50,000 goal.

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