31 August 2009
For now at least. The entire building in which the famed bar is located has been vacated after two people fell from a fourth-floor fire escape balcony early this morning when the rusted out railing broke. The man is dead, the woman in critical condition. TV reports say the building already has several other fire safety violations.
More when I get it.
UPDATE 12:35pm: A reporter on Channel 6 just said the building will be “condemned, closing Monk’s Cafe and putting 13 residents out on the street.” That was ameliorated somewhat when he later added “there’s no telling when the building will be deemed safe enough for Monk’s to reopen.:
Monk’s re-opening Monday or Tuesday? A late report at Philly.com suggests that it will be somewhat longer and that a decision about anything won’t be made until the end of the week:
Tenants, bar staff, and the owner are scheduled to meet at 11 a.m. Friday to discuss the building’s problems, but [chief of the city's Emergency Services & Abatement Unit Chuck] Mulderig said he expects the necessary changes to the building to take at least two weeks.
The structural problems include loose railings on the other floors of the tower and deteriorating concrete ledges, like the one from which the man and woman fell, Mulderig said.
Outstanding code violations identified in September 2008 included a lack of exit signs, he added. Additionally, inspectors are requesting proof that the fire alarm system was re-certified earlier this month.
From Tom Peters:
This is terrible. One person dead and the other in critical condition. I did not know the tenants, but the grief is no less real. I had already left for the evening when one of my servers called to tell me about the tragedy. When I swung around the corner I saw 6 or 7 cop cars, fire engines, ambulance, etc. All lights flashing. I identified myself to the officer in charge and he told me as much as he knew. Which wasn’t much.
I phoned our landlord and he came down to assess the situation. He was visibly shaken. He handles all the rentals himself, so he knows the victims. He is a good guy. He seems to be doing maintenance on a regular basis, so I feel that the building is basically sound. I often see him with his tool kit, or bringing in a plumber, electrician, etc. He has already hired a structural engineer to see if there are any defects that need to be addressed in the apartment section of the building. We’re all set in the restaurant section of the building. We should be open sometime on Monday, or at the latest, on Tuesday. Right now, everything depends upon our landlord.
I’ll keep you posted.