Fire tears through popular Memphis restaurant - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Anna Marie Hartman

Fire tears through popular Memphis restaurant

Firefighters work to extinguish the blaze at Memphis' Benihana restaurant. Firefighters work to extinguish the blaze at Memphis' Benihana restaurant.
(Submitted by WMC-TV viewer) (Submitted by WMC-TV viewer)
(Submitted by WMC-TV viewer) (Submitted by WMC-TV viewer)

A two-alarm fire caused severe damage to a popular Memphis restaurant early Friday morning.

Memphis firefighters were called to the Benihana restaurant on Ridgelake Road shortly before 6:30 a.m. Friday. Crews at the scene said it took them nearly two hours to bring the fire under control.

Firefighters surrounded the restaurant while they were fighting the blaze to prevent flames from spreading to other buildings in the area.

It was a sad day for longtime customers of the restaurant.

"You know, we really get attached to the place because we come here so often," said customer Elizabeth Cisneros.

Manager Phouc Le was confident the restaurant would bounce back.

"Customers in Memphis, they love Benihana," Le said. "We will rebuild, I think."

Adding fuel to the fire, the 8,000-square-foot facility was completely renovated in 2006. Customers said despite the new look, it was the staff that kept them coming back to Benihana. 

"There's always great service," Cisneros said. "Now I just feel so bad for them."

"It has been our pleasure and privilege to have served the Memphis community since 1979 and we intend to rebuild this beautiful restaurant at its current location," a statement from Benihana's corporate office said. "We regret the disruption of service, but look forward to once again serving our loyal Memphis guests in the near future."

No injuries were reported in the fire, and its cause is still under investigation.

  • Do you have special memories and pictures of the restaurant? Click here to send us your pictures from Benihana.

Click here to send an email to Anna Marie Hartman.
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