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Fire closes Manzana Grill

Restaurant, which may reopen Aug. 26, was forced to evacuate diners
by: Vern Uyetake, A Saturday evening blaze at the Manzana Rotisserie Grill in Lake View Village forced the evacuation of about 300 people from the restaurant. Fire crews had a difficult time with patrons driving over fire hoses as they left from the parking garage in the middle of the village. A tentative reopening date of Aug. 26 for lunch has been set.

Police and fire officials continue to investigate the cause of a single-alarm fire that forced the evacuation of about 300 people from a popular Lake Oswego restaurant Saturday night.

Patrons were evacuated from Manzana Rotisserie Grill after cooks at the restaurant, located in Lake View Village on State Street, discovered smoke coming from an upstairs stock room.

Gert Zoutendijk, deputy fire marshal for Lake Oswego Fire, said officials had not ruled out several potential causes of the fire, including arson and an accidental fire.

'Right now it's labeled as a suspicious fire and it's still under investigation with the Oregon State Police Arson Division and the Lake Oswego Police,' Zoutendijk said.

No one was injured in the fire, which was discovered at about 6:30 p.m. as crowds filled the dining room downstairs.

Fire crews from Lake Oswego, Portland and Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue took about 25 minutes to control the blaze. Rescue workers struggled with traffic from the Lake View Village parking garage, ultimately barricading the exit to keep departing patrons from driving over fire hoses.

'We were having issues with people just not wanting to stop … It slowed us down a little bit,' Zoutendijk said. 'We had to barricade and make sure nobody came out of the parking garage so it was a little hectic at the time.'

Ultimately the fire caused about $10,000 in structural damage to the building and an estimated $25,000 in stock and property damage, much of it water damage from sprinklers and fire hoses. Zoutendijk said water flooded an electrical panel, forcing power to the building to be shut down.

Phone lines were also cut off over the weekend.

Matt Corbin, vice president of marketing for Pacific Coast Restaurants, which owns Manzana and other restaurants including Portland City Grill and Newport Bay Restaurant, said this week that most of the damage to Manzana is confined to the eaves of the building in an area above the restaurant's kitchen.

Corbin said he was hopeful Manzana would re-open for lunch on Aug. 26. He asked patrons to call Manzana at 503-675-3322 to check for a firm opening date.

Work crews were busy at the restaurant this week in an effort to get Manzana ready to open again.