by David Anderson
One of Kinston’s most well-regarded restaurants suffered a major fire Saturday morning, and the owners are unsure of when it will reopen.
Ben Knight, who owns Chef & the Farmer with his wife, Vivian Howard, said it would be “a few days” before a reopening date could be determined.
The restaurant opened in a former mule stable at Herritage and Gordon Streets in 2006. It specializes in serving dishes made from the products of Eastern North Carolina growers, and was recently listed as one of the top 100 restaurants in the country by OpenTable.com.
“I’ve already assured Ben that the city’s going to do everything in their power to expedite this as soon as possible, to make sure everything’s up and running,” Mayor B.J. Murphy said.
The blaze was reported shortly after 9 a.m. Saturday, and it “gutted” the restaurant’s storage area, according to an on-scene Kinston fire department official.
“It just gutted the storage area, mainly, (and left) a lot of smoke damage throughout the restaurant,” Cmdr. Steven Martin of Kinston Fire & Rescue said.
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