The Darlinghurst restaurant Bar Reggio is reopening today following a fire that tore through the kitchen on July 25.
“It’s same same, but new,” owner Mandy Rovacchi told Broadsheet. “We’ve kept the same ambience and feeling, but everything is nice and fresh.”
Since the blaze – which started in the kitchen’s exhaust system – owner Mandy Rovacchi has had her hands full cleaning up the mess.
“[There’s been] a lot … of dealing and wheeling with insurance companies. You have to do assessments and investigations; that was a big process,” she says.
New equipment has been installed in the kitchen, including a new pizza oven. The bar area has also been refitted, but like the kitchen it has the same layout and design as before. “We kept with what we knew,” she says.
The dining room – which was untouched by the fire – remains largely unchanged, though Rovacchi is keen to test out the newly installed sound-proofing panels in the ceiling. It's huge news and we're sure it'll be welcomed enthusiastically by regulars – the dining room is notoriously loud. “People were complaining that it was too noisy. I’ll be upset if it doesn’t work.”
(Another less exciting addition is a new website, which Rovacchi launched in the aftermath of the fire. On the website customers can make online reservations and browse the familiar menu of pizzas, pastas and sauces for their veal scallopine.)
Rovacchi took ownership of the restaurant from her father in 2006 – he opened the red-sauce pasta joint in 1994 – and is eager for the much-loved restaurant to begin trading again. “I’m excited and nervous,” she says. “It’s been a long time coming and it doesn’t feel real. I won’t believe it until it actually happens.”
Bar Reggio reopens today, Monday October 8 at 10am.