Shoeless Joe’s closes after fire

Shoeless Joe’s, a popular Scarborough eatery, will remain closed following a March 19 fire.

“The goal is to have the restaurant open in the next three weeks or so,” said Chris Fusis, manager of the Shoeless Joe’s at Morningside and Lawrence Avenues.

The cause of the fire is still unknown, but “negligence has been ruled out,” Fusis said.

Fire officials, who were notified by the fire alarm company, are still determining how and where the fire started exactly, as the investigation is ongoing.

The blaze occurred around 5:30 a.m., while no one was inside the building at 245 Morningside Ave. at the Morningside Crossing Plaza.

The business was shut down all day, as two security guards stood outside denying customers entry. A notice on Shoeless Joe’s Restaurant’s door directed customers to another location at 20 Milner Business Crt.

More than 30 firefighters responded to the call, Toronto Fire Capt. David Eckerman said.

“The fire was in the back corner of the kitchen,” Eckerman said.

There were no injuries, and the fire was relatively small, while minimal repairs are needed, Fusis said.

Nearby Taco Bell and KFC were also affected by the fire, but reopened in the evening after approval from Toronto Public Health.

Manager of the joint restaurants, Syed Nasaruddin, says he lost sales and products as thick smoke filled the kitchen.

“The foods in the freezer were fine, but the health department said we had to throw out everything else – the lettuce, the chicken,” Nasaruddin said. “It could’ve happened to anyone, but we’re unfortunate to have to deal with it.”

He says they’re still cleaning the place, including the ceiling and vents, while damage costs are still unknown.