Vince Moccio was getting off an airplane in Texas when he got the news: Smokin’ M’s, the Maccio family restaurant, had caught fire back in Forest Park.
“I was in Texas to get some more ideas about barbeque for the restaurant,” Moccio said. “The news really ruined my trip.”
Smokin’ M’s, 7507 Roosevelt Rd., has been closed for almost two weeks, while the barbeque restaurant owners wait for rainy weather to pass so roofers can replace the building’s roof.
The fire began in the evening May 24, Moccio said, when a grease-fire started in the restaurant’s glass-enclosed aquarium smoker.
“We got the fire out in the smoker, but the stack caught fire and a fireball went shooting out onto the roof,” said Moccio. Forest Park firefighters climbed onto the roof and had to chop the tiles apart to get the blaze extinguished.
“A lot of the Forest Park firefighters eat here,” Maccio said. “They looked through the hole in the roof and apologized to Jimmy [Moccio]. But they had to make sure the fire was out.”
“Water came into the restaurant, all over everything,” Moccio said. Rainy weather the past two weeks has also leaked into the kitchen, but with blue skies ahead, the rehabbers are ready to fix the roof this week, he said. When the health department gives the OK, the restaurant will reopen, hopefully this weekend, Moccio said.