Fire-hit Westcliff restaurant suffers setback in battle to re-open in new year

Gutted - O'Picado was destroyed in a fire last december <i>(Image: O'Picado)</i>
Gutted - O'Picado was destroyed in a fire last december (Image: O'Picado)

A FIRE-hit restaurant has suffered a setback in in its battle to re-open early next year, bosses say.

O’Picado, in London Road, Westcliff, was hit by a devastating blaze just days before Christmas last year, destroying the Portuguese restaurant, leaving regular diners sad.

Customers have been eagerly anticipating the re-opening since and bosses have repeatedly said they are keen to open as soon as possible.

However, on Friday the owners revealed that work is yet to begin and the plan to re-open in February would be delayed.

More than 50 people commented on the post about their disappointed.

At the time, owners said the fire had “destroyed years of work and dedication.”

Friday’s statement said: “It’s been a while since posting and we still don’t have good news to post, following the fire last year, just before Christmas, the insurance company still haven’t started any works. I was told by one of the contractors’ companies that it would be six months work and I’d be looking to reopen next February.”

The owners added that they have yet to hear from the construction company and work has not yet begun to restore the gutted restaurant.

The unfortunate news has prompted support from residents and regulars, who have spoken of how much the restaurant means to them.

Shoebury resident Suzie Michelle, 48, said: “I’m sad that that the restaurant hasn’t reopened yet, O’Picado was one of our favourite places to go, a beautiful traditional restaurant with a nice, relaxed vibe and great freshly cooked food.”

Suzie added: “We will certainly be looking forward to them returning, I will be ordering my favourite black scabbard with fried banana for my starters and the steak espatada with fried maize for my mains, followed by a shot of their gorgeous homemade red wine liqueur.”

“It was very sad to hear about the fire, very sad for the staff and for their customers but I hope they re-open soon, and I wish them all the luck in the world,” she said.

Other responses across social media hoped for the business to recover soon and expressed excitement about returning to the restaurant as it once was.

The Echo reached out for comment from O’Picado.