Update on Roost and La Bamba: They Will Reopen. But When?

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Adolfo Godinez, owner of La Bamba restaurant and grocery store in Sparkill, in a 2010 photo inside the shop.

Last Sunday, chef Kevin Reilly and his girlfriend, Maria Santini, were relaxing at the bar after a busy night at their restaurant, Roost, when they heard people screaming and running down the stairs.

In an apartment above, officials said, a space heater started a fire that destroyed the top floors of the building. The fire also jumped to the building next door, where it destroyed two more apartments and another restaurant, La Bamba.

A week later, the bar where Reilly was sitting is covered in mud. The upstairs apartments are charred ruins. And water and smoke damage is everywhere.

Still, Reilly and the owners of La Bamba — Adolfo and Anjelica Godinez — say they will reopen. Reilly isn’t sure whether he will relocate or rebuild. The Godinezes, who own both buildings, say they will rebuild in Sparkill.

roost“We’re trying to pick up the pieces,” says Reilly. “We’re trying to keep our spirits up. There’s not a lot we can do about it except pick up the pieces.”

Reilly says he is waiting to hear whether the building is structurally sound before talking about a time frame for reopening. The Godinez family, however, is firm in its plans: “We have to open again,” says Adolfo. “No matter what, we have to open.”

Reilly and Santini, right, at Roost this summer.

Adolfo wouldn’t guess how long it would take to rebuild, but he did say that both his restaurant and the Mexican grocery that shared the space would “definitely reopen.”

The family also owns Zapata, a Mexican restaurant in Palisades.

Reilly says he will consult and do events while he is waiting for insurance inspectors and word about rebuilding.

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About Author

Liz Johnson is content strategist for The Journal News and lohud.com, and the founding editor of lohudfood, formerly know as Small Bites. As food editor, she won awards from the New York News Publishers Association, the Association of Food Journalists and the Associated Press. She lives in Nyack with her husband and daughter on a tiny suburban lot they call their farm — with fruit trees, an herb garden, and a yardful of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, shallots, cucumbers, zucchini, radishes, cabbage, peppers, Brussels sprouts and carrots and four big blueberry bushes.

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