Bosses at a fire-hit Aberdeen restaurant are hoping it will reopen in the summer, the Evening Express can reveal today.
Amarone was forced to close after a blaze tore through its basement in November.
After undertaking a review of the damage, which was less than initially thought, the company decided to wait until after the busy Christmas period to begin repairs.
Parent company DiMaggio’s Restaurant Group (DRG) owns more than 20 restaurants across Scotland, including Cafe Andaluz, DiMaggio’s and Topolabamba, and decided to focus efforts on what was expected to be the busiest period of the year.
Now a spokesman for the firm has confirmed work is due to start in the next few weeks, with the restaurant opening hopefully due in the summer.
The spokesman said: “Work on the refurbishment is expected to start in the next month or so.
“With Christmas being the busiest time of the year for the group, we had to get that out the way before we could focus on the reinstatement work.
“The reopening of the restaurant is scheduled for the summer.”
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More than 50 firefighters battled the blaze on November 10, which also closed off part of Union Street, between Bon Accord Street and Crown Street, along with Langstane Place.
Nine appliances battled the fire for six hours, after the report was made to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service at around 10.30am, with firefighters not leaving the scene until after midnight, before returning at 3am and 8am the following morning to ensure that no hot spots were able to re-ignite.
A joint Police Scotland and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service investigation determined the fire may have been caused by a faulty tumble dryer in the basement area, which ignited prior to opening time.
Geoff Cooper, the city centre manager for Aberdeen Inspired, welcomed the news.
He said: “We are pleased to see work will begin soon at Amarone, with the hope of it reopening later this year.
“It has been difficult circumstances for what we know is a popular restaurant and we welcome their continued commitment to our city.”
At the time, bosses at DRG thanked the emergency services who extinguished the blaze, saying a team was ready to assess the damage and plan repairs as soon as the investigation was complete.
Reservations at the restaurant over the Christmas period were fulfilled by the nearby Cafe Andaluz.