Owners say Raleigh's burned-out Hibernian will be back

aweigl@newsobserver.comDecember 27, 2012 

— Don’t worry: The Hibernian will come back.

Amanda Pope, marketing director for the Hibernian Co., a local restaurant group, said Thursday that owners will rebuild the popular Irish pub and restaurant that was destroyed by fire Wednesday morning. Ireland native Niall Hanley opened the restaurant and bar in 2000, making it among the first destinations at what has become Raleigh’s popular nightlife district, Glenwood South.

While a timeframe is not known, Pope said, “There’s no question. We’re coming back.”

The Hibernian’s 33 employees will be dispersed to the company’s other restaurants, Pope said. All the bartenders are going to work at Solas, a high-end restaurant and bar a few doors down from the Hibernian.

Depending on each employee’s situation, they will have jobs at the Hibernian in Cary or two new restaurants Hanley is opening next month: another Hibernian on Falls of Neuse Road in North Raleigh or Dos Taquitos Xoco at 410 Glenwood Ave. Hanley is partnering with Carlos Salamanca, owner of Dos Taquitos on Creedmoor Road, to open this second location.

All day Thursday, the owners and patrons of the Hibernian posted comments, photos and videos of the burned out shell of a building on a Facebook page called Team Hibernian Nation. They show blackened tables, chairs and heat lamps jumbled under a collapsed roof.

Assistant Fire Chief James Poole said the cause was a grease fire in the kitchen, although a final investigative report is not yet complete.

Three employees in the restaurant at the time of the fire, about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, got out safely.

The 11,000-square-foot building was not required to have sprinklers because it was built in the 1920s, when sprinklers were not mandated as part of the fire code, Poole said. No subsequent renovations to the building required adding a sprinkler system.

Only a kitchen hood suppression system would have been required in the kitchen, Poole said.

Weigl: 919-829-4848

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