A fire in the kitchen exhaust system at Rockpool Bar & Grill in Sydney’s Hunter Street forced more than 100 diners and 50 staff to evacuate during a busy dinner service last night.
The fire broke out in the kitchen around 8.30pm and six fire crews spent an hour extinguishing the blaze. Owner Neil Perry, who is currently in Hong Kong in his role as Qantas chef and will return on Friday, said he was pleased no-one was hurt.
Perry’s downstairs restaurant, Spice Temple, was also evacuated as a precaution during the blaze.
“We’re not sure where the fire started or what caused it but we should know more in the coming days when the full extent of the damage is assessed,” Perry said.
“I wish I was there to support the team, they have done an amazing job in managing the whole situation.”
The elegant, art deco restaurant, with its $10 million 3500-bottle wine cellar, opened in 2009 and is popular with Sydney’s power elite.
Part of its appeal is char-grilled steaks from beef specially aged in cool-rooms on site. A spokesperson for the restaurant confirmed that fire crews were able to reinstate the power in time to protect the refrigerated meat, worth tens of thousands of dollars.
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