Newly remodeled Fayetteville restaurant catches fire
Posted January 24, 2012
Fayetteville, N.C. — Six months after undergoing significant remodeling, Miami Subs Grill along Skibo Road in Fayetteville was heavily damaged by a fire on Tuesday morning.
A passerby reported the fire around 8:40 a.m., when the restaurant was closed. A friend called the owner to break the news.
"It looked like the whole block was on fire or something," owner Jimmy Diamantoplous said.
The restaurant located at 552 N. McPherson Church Road reopened in June after being closed for nine months for major renovations.
Diamantoplous said he just felt shock looking at the building burn.
Firefighters worked quickly and confined the flames to the back of the building. Still, smoke coated the dining area in soot. There was little structural damage and the exterior of the building was untouched.
The restaurant is well-known in the area, even serving as the location for a Monday night "Sports Blast" for a local radio station.
"It's also a sports gathering place. There's a side room where all the players gather, so it's kind of a popular place in town," Diamantoplous said.
Throughout the day, patrons called Diamantoplous to give him support.
"It's unbelievable the support for this restaurant," he said.
A longtime family friend, who's from the same hometown in Greece, hung around the scene for hours to help.
"He loves his business. He loves his restaurant. He loves the people, and if anyone needs his help, he's always there for them," friend Athina Sarantoulias said.
Officials said the fire started in the back of the building near the drive-thru area. It is still unclear what sparked it.