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Community rallies round as messages of support flood in for restaurant; Coming to terms with the blaze at Guidis.

Byline: IAN BUNTING & JUDITH TONNER

Owners of the much-loved Airdrie restaurant which has been destroyed by fire say they are "slowly trying to process what has happened" following the overnight blaze.

Trattoria Guidi, which has been a

Monklands institution for nearly four decades, went up in flames in the early hours of Wednesday morning with six fire crews being called to douse the fire.

Customers, local businesses and community representatives are all sharing fond memories and offering support and backing for the family business to rebuild.

Guidis posted on their Facebook page: "We had a severe fire at the restaurant last night. We are devastated and slowly trying to process what has happened.

""he most important thing is that no-one was in at the time and so all of our staf fare safe.

"We will let you all know when we have more news. Thank you all for your kind messages and support."

t." he smell of smoke still lingered in the air as the Advertiser attended the scene last Wednesday morning, with people gathering in the nearby area stunned by the shocking news they woke up to.

Mum Arlene Gillooly spoke for many when she told us: "I just cannot believe it. I heard the sirens very early in the morning and you could see the flames and smoke from the window.

"At first I thought it was maybe a house on fire but then it became obvious it was Guidis.

"It looks like the restaurant has been absolutely gutted; it's so sad and a massive blow to the town.

"My heart goes out to the owner and staff. What a terrible thing to happen - and just after Covid restrictions were eased."

" Gerry McShane, who lives in aflat on Deedes Street, across the road from Guidis, said: "I woke up this morning and wondered what all the commotion was about. There were fire engines everywhere and the smoke was billowing out.

"I've eaten in Guidis many times and it doesn't bear thinking about that the place might now be gone.

"I really hope it can be rebuilt and feel so sad for the people who work there."

Another local who wished to remain anonymous added: "I've never seen anything like it. I walked past Guidis yesterday and there were people heading in for a meal - and now the place has been devastated.

"Hopefully they can salvage as much of the building as possible but it's not looking good.

"It's absolutely heartbreaking and the area just won't be the same."

Hundreds of customers replied to the restaurant's Facebook post expressing support for the Guidi family and the restaurant's staff following the "heartbreaking" fire, praising its place as "an absolute pillar of the community in airdrieandcoatbridge" and calling it "part of the local DNA".

The stream of online messages offering support to Guidi's also included dozens from businesses across Monklands, both in hospitality and other industries, as well as community councils and local representatives.

Airdrie Central councillor Jim Logue, leader of North Lanarkshire Council, said he and local authority officials had been alerted during the night as the fire took hold just before 1am.

He told the Advertiser: "Like every other resident in Airdrie, I'm absolutely gutted about the intensity of the fire and the damage caused.

"Guidis is a very respected and well-customised restaurant; it's a real feature in the community and leaves a huge gap for a lot of residents - it's so well loved and lots of families use it.

"So many birthdays, marriages, retirals and other celebrations have all taken place there and people were shocked to wake up to that news this morning and are devastated to hear what's happened, with a plethora of comments on social media reacting to the terrible news."

He added: "Our services including building control were there with the emergency services during the night. The police and fire services were most professional and made sure everybody including neighbouring residents were safe.

"I hope Guidis are able to restore the service they had previously, and we'll get in contact to see what help the council can give.

"At the moment there's a lot of emotional upheaval for the family, but when the time is right our business support service will be in contact and we'll all sit down see what help can be given with planning, building control and so on to get the premises re-established."

Neil Gray, the Airdrie MSP, said: "I woke up to messages saying what had happened and that the restaurant has been completely destroyed, and I'm just so desperately sad for Carlo, the family and staff.

"So many memories for people across airdrieandcoatbridgewere made in that restaurant. It's so popular and local folk loved it as there have been so many lovely meals and celebrations there."

the fire comes only three months after restaurants were finally allowed to reopen fully following the second coronavirus lockdown and after lengthy periods of closure since March 2020.

Mr Gray added: "For this to happen when businesses were reopening and people were starting to go back out is devastating and I feel so bad for the family and staff. They'd been doing really well since reopening and it just makes it so hard.

"I'll be reaching out to them to offer support if they need or want it. I'd seen their Facebook post saying that they're devastated and it must be a terrible shock - it's so sad."

Constituency colleague Anum Qaisar-Javed MP said: "I'm devastated for Carlo and his team. "he most important thing is that no-one was in jured but I know how loved Guidis is among locals - passion shone through in their service, which is why they have such a loyal customer base.

"They will be hugely missed for now but my hope is that they are able to rebuild and get back to doing what they love. I've reached out to offer any support my team and I can provide."

Coatbridge neighbour Fulton MacGregor MSP added: "My thoughts are also with Carlo and his family. Guidis has been very popular with people in Coatbridge and Chryston for decades and many people will be feeling very sad today. I really hope they can come back from this and we can all enjoy a nice meal out again there soon."

Among the many expressions of support posted online were messages from neighbouring restaurant Monterey Jack's, located across Rochsolloch Road from Guidi's.

They called the fire "tragic" and said: "Our thoughts are with all those at Guidis restaurant; hope all are ok and that we will see them open again in the future."

Coatbridge restaurant The Mint posted on Facebook: "Absolutely devastated to hear this news about Guidis, a local institution".

"From one family business to another, thoughts and prayers with Carlo and his team - we hope you can rebuild and come back stronger than ever."

A Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said: "We were alerted at 00.49am on Wednesday, August 11, to reports of a building on fire at Rochsolloch Road, Airdrie.

"Operations Control immediately mobilised two appliances to the scene and on arrival firefighters found a single storey restaurant well alight.

"Additional resources were mobilised including four further appliances and crews remained on the scene as they worked to extinguish the fire and make the area safe. No casualties were reported."

CAPTION(S):

Destructive A photo of the blaze in full force

Hard at workFirefighters remained on the scene dousing the fire well into Wednesday

Safety first Police were in attendance and Rochsolloch Road was closed off

Surveying the scene Fortunately there were no injuries as a result of the fire

Aftermath The fire ripped through the popular Italian eatery
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Article Details
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Author:IAN BUNTING & JUDITH TONNER
Publication:Airdrie and Coatbridge Advertiser (Lanarkshire, Scotland)
Date:Aug 18, 2021
Words:1282
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