By Ben Fractenberg
GREENWICH VILLAGE — An electrical fire broke out at popular Greenwich Village restaurant Joseph Leonard Monday morning.
The fire started in the basement of the first floor establishment at 170 Waverly Place around 8:00 a.m., according to FDNY Deputy Fire Chief Bob Carroll.
Firemen closed off Waverly Place from Gay to Grove streets and had the fire under around 8:40 a.m., Carroll said. Several windows were broken and firefighters had to cut a hole in the restaurant's floor to help put out the blaze.
"It’s so tough to succeed in the restaurant business and they were really killing it," said Alex Klein, 29, who lives in the area and frequents the eatery.
Joseph Leonard owner Gabriel Stulman recently opened a new establishment called Jeffrey’s Grocery, which is located across the street at 172 Waverly Place, and he is also taking over Fedora, another West Village mainstay.
Stulman was at the scene but said he was too distraught to go into detail about damage to his restaurant.
"I’m just trying to figure out what happens now," he said.