A renowned Phuket restaurant, popular with tourists, Thais, and the local expat community alike, has been destroyed by fire. The restaurant was located between Cherng Talay and Thalang, surrounded by upscale villas and hotels.
The Slovakian owners of Project Artisan, Martin and Michaela Michalik, have issued a statement on social media confirming the temporary closure of the venue, which is situated in the Layan area, in the northern sub-district of Chergntalay.
“Yesterday we were at the mercy of forces bigger than us. We are totally devastated as there is a significant amount of fire damage, but the main thing is that everyone is safe. It’s going to take us some considerable time to get back up and running, but we have the best team and we will be back stronger than ever!”
Khaosod English reports that the fire broke out at around 1.30pm on Sunday, December 3, while it was busy with customers. According to eyewitness reports, customers seated outside saw smoke coming from the roof and when they ran inside to see what was happening, they realised the venue was on fire.
The customers, who were mostly foreign nationals, panicked and fled, while restaurant staff tried to extinguish the blaze. However, the fire was too big and the entire restaurant suffered severe damage.
According to the Khaosod English report, the restaurant was built on a steel structure of around 15 metres in height. The fire appears to have started in the roof, which was destroyed, before spreading down to other pieces of equipment and eventually the entire restaurant.
It took firefighters around half an hour to get the blaze under control and damages are expected to be around 15 million baht. The area has been sealed off by Cherngtalay Police, who are working with Phuket Forensic Police to establish the cause of the fire.
According to police, just before the fire broke out, Mr Michalik and his chef, Wachara Chandra, noticed smoke coming from a range hood motor mounted on the ceiling. It’s understood they then saw a spark and within 2 minutes, the entire roof, reportedly made of flammable materials, was on fire.
SOURCE: Khaosod English