Despite forced closure for a few days, Isla Vista’s Silvergreens and Beat the Bookstore have recovered both financially and operationally from an electrical fire earlier this month.
Jan. 16 marked the re-opening of the two businesses at 900 Embarcadero Del Mar after an electrical fire on the building’s exterior left the address without power. Since then, owners and employees said business has run as usual.
Although they had to keep their doors closed for a few days, Silvergreens General Manager Rob Gleiberman said business has bounced back and the restaurant has not incurred any significant financial setbacks.
“Being closed for five days doesn’t help, but I’m not complaining,” Gleiberman said. “Business is good.”
Gleiberman also said that nothing inside the building was damaged, and despite the initial attention to the scene of the incident – three fire trucks, four I.V. Foot Patrol squad cars, one ladder vehicle and multiple passersby – not much happened.
“It was pretty anti-climactic,” Gleiberman said. “We came out with a new menu and re-opened. As soon as we re-opened, everything went great. Thank God no one was hurt. All of our employees and guests were safe. As cheesy as that sounds, it really is what’s most important to us.”
Upstairs at Beat the Bookstore, things were also up and running smoothly by Jan. 16. Beat the Bookstore General Manager Ryan Portwood said that, like at Silvergreens, no one was hurt and nothing was damaged.
“A co-worker and I were here on [the day of the fire] doing some online shipping, and we heard a noise outside,” Portwood said. “Police cars were here for a while before the fire department came, and we were told to evacuate.”
Portwood also said that although it was the second week of the new quarter when the fire took place, financially, the textbook store was not hit too severely.
“We actually had a pretty good quarter, so it wasn’t so bad,” said Portwood, “We have a lot of online customers, so we got by. It definitely hurt, but we’re all right.”
The fire, which occurred on Jan. 12, was reported when witnesses saw an electrical box on the outside of the building start smoking and businesses suddenly lost power. Overall, Portwood said he thought the situation was handled well.
“It hurt to not have power for three days, but other than that, it seemed well taken care of.”
Gleiberman said Southern California Edison, the utility company to the building, has not yet determined the cause of the fire but pointed to faulty machinery as a possible culprit.
“It hasn’t been figured out yet,” said Gleiberman, “but there was pretty much just too much power from the building as a whole using an outdated fuse box.”