Boat Building bottom floor deemed safe; Blue Plate Bistro to re-open for dinner Wednesday, Aug. 1
BLUE PLATE BISTRO REOPENING PARTY
• Starts at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 1.
• One free beer to anyone who wears a hard hat.
AVON — Blue Plate Bistro will re-open for dinner on Wednesday, Aug. 1.
The restaurant was forced to close after a car crashed into a support pillar outside the Benchmark Plaza building on Friday, July 27. Blue Plate Bistro occupies the bottom floor of the building, commonly known as the “Boat Building.”
The Avon Police Department is currently investigating the incident; as of Tuesday, July 31, the driver had not received any citations.
The pillar that was compromised in the crash provided structural support to the second and third floors of the building, which were promptly evacuated following the accident.
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While the bottom floor has been deemed safe for the restaurant to re-open, contractors were still examining the upper floors on Tuesday to determine any further damage that may have occurred during the crash, said Avon Building Official William Gray.
“The concern is that the floor system and connections may have been compromised from the impact,” Gray said.
Hannes Spaeh, a structural engineer with Monroe & Newell Engineering Inc., was on scene quickly to examine the scope of the impact, Gray said.
“(Spaeh) determined that the road should be closed and a bigger perimeter was necessary in case the building went into collapse and just what temporary supports would be necessary until final repairs are completed,” Gray said.
Spaeh said the upper floor above the patio at the east end of the building should not be occupied until all repairs are made.
Gray is still waiting to receive a full determination on the extent of the repairs necessary. Monroe & Newell Engineering is expected to provide drawings to Gray, who will then issue a building permit for the repairs.
“I am thankful that Mr. Spaeh was able to give up his time to handle an emergency, and under his guidance, the building was stabilized,” Gray said.
OUTPOURING OF SUPPORT
The building lost electricity as a result of the crash, and Blue Plate Bistro was forced to throw away all of its perishable food items, said Amanda Jensen, the restaurant’s public relations manager.
“They had to remake every roux, every sauce, every dressing,” she said.
As a result, owners Elli and Adam Roustom have been too busy to take calls, but told Jensen they were humbled by the outpouring of attention they received.
The Roustoms were “overwhelmed by the love and support that has been shown through texts and phone calls,” Jensen said. “On Facebook, people were asking if they needed anything; it was amazing.”
While Blue Plate Bistro is usually open for lunches and dinners, the Roustoms say they are going to start by opening for only dinner until the construction subsides.
The restaurant will open at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. As many of the people outside the building will be wearing hard hats, the Roustroms are offering a free beer to anyone who blends in by showing up in a hard hat.
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It’s fitting that Eagle County is proceeding through its reopening phases of COVID-19 in an analogy to ski run difficulties — green to blue to black. Monday marks the transition from the green beginner phase to the blue intermediate phase.