The last time we were at TiGeorges', just after the earthquake in Haiti, the place was packed with community members and press, and the next morning the small restaurant on Glendale Blvd. in Echo Park had raised over $14,000 for Haiti relief. Last night, the media swarmed George Laguerre's restaurant again, but this time the flurry was over flames.
According to Laguerre, he closed the restaurant by 3 p.m. Wednesday, as he often does when business is slow. Sometime after 9 p.m., a fire apparently caused by an electrical shortage in a light fixture gutted the restaurant. Bizarrely, Laguerre was alerted by friends and family on the East Coast who had heard about the fire on Twitter. The media beat him to the scene.
This morning, two firetrucks and disaster recovery services sat in front of the charred building. Burnt insulation and scaffolding lay in front of the restaurant, the sign was melted, the ceiling inside had collapsed and burned. The fire spread to L'Keg Gallery next door, but stopped at the printer's shop three doors down. "I'm a diehard guy," said Laguerre, who had been preparing for a trip home to Haiti when the fire destroyed his business. "I'm gonna reopen. This is a temporary setback."