Block of businesses at Shops at Lincoln Heights work to reopen after fire

Gelato shop where fire started closed indefinitely

SAN ANTONIO – There was no fire or smoke to be seen Wednesday at the block of a half-dozen businesses at the Shops at Lincoln Heights, nor were there many customers.

The cluster of businesses, including Pei Wei, Sushi Zushi and Slater White Cleaners, was evacuated Tuesday afternoon after a fire started in the attic area above Paciugo Gelato Cafe. 

Employees could be seen cleaning up at several of the businesses Wednesday, and Paciugo appeared to be heavily damaged. 

Related: Fire near The Quarry prompts evacuations at restaurants, businesses

In a Facebook post, the gelato shop said the fire was mainly contained to the back area, although the whole location had heavy water and smoke damage. The shop promised to rebuild, but it was "not exactly sure of the timeline to reopen at the moment."

Other locations mainly had to contend with smoke that had drifted through the shared attic space. 

"You walk in, you still smell it. It's gonna be a while. We're hoping by tomorrow it just stops," said John Rivera, the kitchen manager at Sushi Zushi.

Read: Heavy flames, smoke, damage South Side print shop

At Pei Wei Asian Diner, next to Paciugo, the smoke caused more problems than just a smell.

"Right now, we're throwing away thousands of dollars worth of product that has been damaged by that smoke," said Angela Watkins, Pei Wei's general manager.

While Sushi Zushi was open again Wednesday evening for to-go and delivery orders while it aired out the building another day, Pei Wei was looking to reopen Monday.

Related: Wednesday marks the anniversary of the worst wildfire Texas has ever seen

Although each day means lost sales, Watkins kept things in perspective.

"We're just thankful that no one has lost their lives," she said.

About the Authors:

Garrett Brnger

Garrett Brnger is a reporter with KSAT 12.