A pipe at Piecasso Pizzeria and Lounge froze and cracked early this morning, bursting a sprinkler head and pouring water through an upper-level storage area and into the dining room.
The broken pipe is part of the restaurant's fire suppression system, located in the eaves of the building's attic. The area immediately below housed chairs, stools, material and other supplies.
Owner Ed Rovetto said about half of the ceiling fell through into the main dining area, ruining furnishings, speakers, and possibly the floor, which was renovated about a year and a half ago.
“When I got the call at 6 this morning and drove up the Mountain Road, I just had my fingers crossed that there weren't flames shooting out of the top of Piecasso,” Rovetto said.
Luckily, the rest of the building, including the kitchen and bar area, was not affected - a “silver lining” to the unfortunate situation, Rovetto said. He estimates at least $50,000 to $100,000 worth of damage was done, but he intends to have the space fully rebuilt and open this year.
“It's been such a long cold snap,” said manager George Sparker. “It's amazing that something like this can happen in a heated building.”
The restaurant will remain open for full service, but seating will be limited - about 75 seats at tables, plus about 21 seats at the bar. Takeout and slices will also be available.
Rovetto said the restaurant will not change its regularly scheduled hours. He predicts busy weekends will be tough, but hopes Piecasso fans won't be deterred by the limited seating.
“It's manageable,” said Rovetto, but “it's just a real bummer.”