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Fire closes famous St. Paul restaurant 2/26/09

 By: Becky Nahm & Nicole Muehlhausen


Fire destroyed much of the interior of a landmark St. Paul restaurant Thursday night.

Yarusso Bros. Italian Restaurant on Payne Avenue had to be evacuated after the blaze broke out in the kitchen's fan exhaust system around 7:30 p.m.On Friday, the family began salvaging pieces of the history from the building. Yarusso's claims to be St. Paul's oldest family-owned restaurant that was established in 1933 by the current owners' grandfather Frank.

"I guess he used to bring food down in the wagon. We're talking way back---all lived around here, neighborhood place, kind of grew," said Freddie Yarusso
The family told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS they are still reeling from the loss, but they're confident they will rebuild.

"I think the biggest thing is letting people down. We won't be open for three months, have all these people coming here on a regular basis. This is their home," said Annette Yarusso.
Investigators said the fire caused $140,000 in damage, but the structure is sound. One firefighter was treated for a minor injury at Regions Hospital.

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