Sunset Park

Sunset Park neighbors help restaurant owners after fire

January 5, 2015 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The two-alarm fire ripped through a building at 5311 Fourth Ave. in Sunset Park, causing devastating damage to the Borin’Queyz Restaurant. Photo by John K. Pisciotta

A family-owned Sunset Park restaurant sustained devastating damage in a two-alarm fire that ripped through the building where the eatery is located, but a group of neighbors is trying to help the owners in the aftermath of the blaze.

The fire erupted in a two-story building at 5311 Fourth Ave. just before Christmas, destroying much of the interior of Borin’Queyz Restaurant, a popular place on the ground floor where local residents often dined on barbeque chicken and other tasty dishes in a home-like atmosphere. No one was injured in the fire, but the blaze has put the restaurant out of business at that location for the foreseeable future, neighbors said.

In the wake of the fire, neighbors are organized a donation drive for the family that owns the restaurant.

“We have collected a modest amount so far,” neighbor Lynn Tondrick told the Brooklyn Eagle on Monday. “I’m asking people to sign a card and we’re going to put money it in and give it to the family. We’re doing it to show our love and support for the family. They live on our block. We are a tight-knit community here in Sunset Park.”

The holiday-time fire “was devastating to the family and the restaurant workers on so many levels,” Tondrick said.

Another neighbor, Sara Mari, spoke to the pastor of her church, the Brooklyn First Church of the Brethren, and together, they came up with another way to assist the family. The church, located at 352 60th St., will hold a fellowship service on Sunday, Jan. 11, at 11 a.m.

Sunset Park Restoration, a neighborhood group led by longtime resident Tony Giordano, is assisting the grassroots fundraising effort. Anyone interested in making a donation can email [email protected] for information.

“Sunset Park residents are caring people,” Sunset Park Restoration leaders wrote in an email to the Eagle.

The kindness that neighbors are showing to the family is only fair, according to Tondrick, who said the owners have often done favors for local residents.

“They’re lovely people. They would bring neighbors meals to cheer them up if things weren’t going well,” she said.

Tondrick said she and other neighbors hope that the family can open up a new restaurant in another location soon.

Efforts to reach the restaurant’s owners were unsuccessful.