Owner of Nolan's grateful for support, looking ahead to rebuilding
Nick Violas, owner, Nolan's on the Lake, thought it was a joke when he got a call that his restaurant was on fire. He quickly realized it wasn't when we saw the smoke and flames last Thursday morning.
Violas' first thought went to making sure everyone was safe; his second thought quickly went to his employees.
"What's going to happen to these folks?" Violas said. "How are we going to find jobs? What's going to happen if this goes all the way to the ground?"
Violas and his employees stood there, watching, as fire fighters worked to quickly put out the fire. They were greeted by a number of people - some regulars, many strangers - offering to help.
"My entire staff was here and immediately after we had a meeting," Violas said. "And that meeting wasn't, 'What am I going to do?' It was, 'How do we get back up and running, and serving Canandaigua again,' and that was pretty powerful."
As they were thinking about that, others in the restaurant business were wondering how they could serve the 100 employees at Nolan's.
"They said if you need a couple of servers to get shifts, we can pick them up," Violas said.
He said they're working with places like Casta de Pasta, Eric's Office, and the Culinary Institute to figure all that out.
Violas also runs Canandaigua Country Club, so some of the employees are able to help there.
This is their busy season, Violas said. He said he is working with his landlord, and they do have plans to rebuild. He's also looking forward to serving up dinner for all those that have been offering their help.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.