Bethany Clough

Five restaurant is back. More than year after fire, here’s what’s different, the same

Five restaurant is back.

A year and three weeks after a fire shut down the popular restaurant at Champlain Drive and Perrin Avenue, it’s open for business.

The restaurant reopened Friday. It’s serving a limited version of its Italian fusion menu for now, though that will change in a week or two. Reservations are highly recommended.

Five owner Pat LaRocca is “very happy to back,” he said. “I appreciate all the love and the support from the Fresno community and I’m really grateful.”

In September of last year, a fire started in the pizza oven in the kitchen and spread to the restaurant’s attic. It did $300,000 damage.

Although it didn’t look like much destruction from the outside, the entire restaurant had smoke and water damage, including in the ventilation system’s ducts.

“You have to start all over pretty much,” LaRocca said.

The layout of the dining room is generally the same, with some new rock on the walls and new colors on the banquette seating. They also added acoustic panels on the ceiling to make the room less noisy, he said.

The kitchen is more open and bigger.

One thing that didn’t change: The employees – or at least some of them.

Despite hiring in August, many of the same employees are still there, LaRocca said. He had payroll insurance, meaning employees have been paid during the year the restaurant was closed.

The bar opens at 4 p.m., with dinner starting at 5 p.m. (though the restaurant will be closed Sunday, Oct. 6). Reservations through phone only: 559-434-5553.

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Bethany Clough covers restaurants and retail for The Fresno Bee. A reporter for 20 years, she now works to answer readers’ questions about business openings, closings and other business news. She has a degree in journalism from Syracuse University and her last name is pronounced Cluff.