Wednesday 12 December 2018

Gorey restaurant rises from ashes after arson-related incident

Opening of Cilantro restaurant is a huge relief for Roy

The front page of the Gorey Guardian from May 15
The front page of the Gorey Guardian from May 15

Sara Gahan

A restaurant in Gorey has risen from the ashes six weeks after a fire in a bin looked to have ruined the business on the eve of its grand opening.

It was a day to celebrate for Roy Kung from Malaysia as he opened his new Cilantro Asian restaurant in Market Square on Wednesday afternoon.

It was a much different scenario back in May, however. Bins that were located adjacent to the building were set alight and the blaze caused extensive fire and smoke damage to his premises. At the time, it looked like the business would never open its doors.

'It is a huge relief to be opened, but the job is not finished yet,' said Mr Kung. 'This was just the first part, the next is to run a successful business and to maintain it.'

The smoke caused extensive damage and Mr Kung, along with business partner Marcel, had to re-paint and re-decorate by scrubbing the walls and ceiling for hours on end to get rid of the burning smells and visible damage.

'It took us just about one month to get this place where it needed to be,' said Mr Kung. 'It is actually better than what it was originally.'

After the fire broke out, Mr Kung could not believe what had happened after he and his girlfriend, and business partner Marcel, worked hard to get the building ready for the opening. Mr Kung was determined that the restaurant would open again. It was a difficult time for Mr Kung, who said he had hit a low place.

'I would like to thank the beautiful people of Gorey who helped me through the hard time,' said Mr Kung. 'I met the real people of Gorey from the incident and I am so touched and feel very welcomed.'

He said he would like to specially thank Liam Brennan who first approached him after the fire, the Fire Services, neighbours, and the person who raised the alarm.

Cilantro is opened daily from 12 noon, until 3 p.m., and 5 p.m., until late.

Gorey Guardian