LINCOLN PARK — When a "very trendy" sushi restaurant opened up next door to Chicago Cryospa, Alexis Boin and her colleagues were dying to try it out.
When the group finally went to Juno at 2638 N. Lincoln Ave., Boin, 22, couldn't make it.
Now, who knows when she'll get a chance.
The restaurant was gutted in an early-morning fire that spread to other levels of the three-story building.
When Boin's colleagues returned to work Friday morning they were greeted by about a dozen fire trucks left over from the overnight fire.
"It's a mad house out there," she said a colleague told her Friday morning.
The fire began around 3 a.m. and was extinguished in about 1-1/2 hours, according to the Chicago Tribune. No one was injured
"It's sad. We know the owner of Juno and feel really bad for him. He's a really nice guy," Boin said. "It's scary to think it could've blown over and messed up our business also."
Friday afternoon, the stench of fire lingered in the air around the block as emergency crews boarded up the building.
A member of the crew said he'd been working all morning and witnessed two families dig through their homes searching for objects that could be saved from the wreckage only to find there wasn't much that could be saved.
Chiyo Takemoto, 28, has worked as a beverage director at Juno since it opened in June. She was stunned when a friend told her about the fire Friday morning and went to the scene to see the damage for herself.
"I still can't believe that it happened," she said after surveying the damage.
"It's crazy ... the entire front room is completely gone. It's really dark in there so it's tough to see, but there's a lot of water damage," Takemoto said. "The back dining area seems fine, but the front area is bad."
Takemoto said her boss told employees about the fire this morning and said the fire investigation would be going on for the next few days, but because it happened so quickly no one was sure what to do next.
"I'm just glad no one was hurt, but obviously it sucks because now we don't have jobs," she said.
While Takemoto said she wasn't sure what the future would hold, she does know she will need to find another job quickly.