University of Illinois Campustown Fire at 625-627-629 E. Green St. (Zorbas, Mia Za's, Pitaya), Wednesday, March 23, 2011, Champaign, IL

#29
Zorba's, other campus businesses damaged by fire

Matt Mortenson, owner of longtime Campustown business Zorba’s, said he was looking forward to brisk business this coming fall, with additional home football games and more traffic to his restaurant..

"I don't know how you come out of something like this," he said about the fire that spread through the building on the 600 block of East Green Street that contains Zorba's and Mia Za's Cafe restaurants and the Pitaya clothing boutique.

Mortenson said he hoped to get into the building today to inspect the damage.

news-gazette.com
 
#30
Mattoon-Charleston Area
Glad to hear no injuries, hopefully Zorba's, Za's, and Pitaya and the building will be rebuilt soon and they can be back before the fall. I liked eating at Za's from time to time, it was a popular hangout for many of my MI and other friends. I remember there being construction on that side of Green street from 2007-2008 or 09, I know it will be back very soon.
 
#31
That's a winner!!
OH
Who owns that building?

I guess I never looked closely, but what addresses are separate buildings on that block, all I remember, that whole block seemed like 1 big building.
 
#32
Audio & Photos: Fire in Campustown

Matt Mortenson has worked at Zorba's for nearly 30 years and owns the business. Mortenson spotted smoke coming out of the apartment above Pitaya at around 7:35 this morning. He said he noticed flames shooting 20 to 30 feet in the air, but he doesn't know badly his business was damaged.

"You don’t know whether to laugh or cry about it," Mortenson said. "If it wasn't burned, there's a lot of water damage I'm sure."

Urbana Fire Chief Mike Dilley said a fire in a concealed space at the top of the building burned "fairly undetectably" for some time. He said that in the space housing Zorba's, the roof and sections of the floor had collapsed into the first floor, but that the first floor was still intact.

will.illinois.edu
 
#35
Glad to hear no one was injured!! But, so sorry to hear about Zorba's. Luckily I stopped by yesterday to get my Zorba's fix . . . which might have to hold me over for some time.
 
#38
Captain 'Paign
Phoenix, AZ
I checked it out at lunchtime today. The damage looks pretty bad. The entire second floor is burned out and the roof is gone aside from the trusses. I'm sure there is major water damage in what's left of the first floor spaces.
 
#41
gotta think the building is a complete loss, hopefully damage to neighboring buildings is minimal.

I hope they can save the front facade, hopefully maintain the street wall until new construction is complete and its a nice front to the building.

Too bad, opportunity to come in and build a nice new somewhat bigger building though, be interesting to see what happens.
 
#43
Ormond Beach
I was wondering how ling it had been there because I don't remember the place at all (I arrived on campus in '73). I remember walking by it when returning to campus, but never went there during school.
I might have been their first customer (or close to it). I was watching and waiting for them to finally open. Frequented them often and Garcia's across the street around the corner when on that side of campus.
 
#45
Demolition planned for upper part of fire damaged building complex

Crews are making plans to partially demolish the attic and second floor of a building complex destroyed by Wednesday's early morning blaze.

The complex housed local business Zorba's Restaurant, Mia Za's cafe and the Pitaya clothing store. The cause of the fire has yet to be determined, but was localized to the apartments above Zorba's before spreading throughout the complex.

dailyillini.com
 
#46
Woodridge, IL
I didn't even think of all the Illini memorabilia that was in Zorba's. They had a bunch of newspaper clippings and other stuff from the Flying Illini and the '05 team. Hope it somehow survived.
 
#47
Green Street fire started above Mia Za's

The Champaign Fire Department said today that investigators have found the point of origin of the fire in the southeast corner above the ceiling of Mia Za's cafe.

No cause has been determined yet, but investigators are looking today.

news-gazette.com
 
#48
UI student streams live feed from the wreckage of Green Street fire

"I figured it would just be kind of cool to film it and put up everything that happens," Jordan Zucker said.

Zucker is filming from the fifth floor of Green Street Towers, near the intersection of Wright and Green streets (just west of Follett’s bookstore and directly across the street from the site of the fire).

news-gazette.com
Save Zorbas! THE source for Green Street recovery efforts

The live stream of Green Street is back online, despite the lack of construction, due to popular demand. Look for your friends walking by, or try something crazy (within the law) to get on the site. The camera rolls 24/7, if I catch something interesting, I will put it on the site.

savezorbas.com
Time lapse of daybreak over the wreckage


 
#49
Investigators can't determine cause of Green St. Fire

A release sent Monday from the fire department said the investigators "did not determine a specific origin" or cause.

The department previously had said the fire started in the southeast corner of 629 E. Green St., above the ceiling of Mia Za's Cafe.

The department said that, while the origin was undetermined, the fire was determined not to be suspicious.

news-gazette.com
 
#50
I am enjoying a Zorb's gyro as takeout from their Taste of Champaign tent.

The Eatfest continues until 10 PM Sat & from 11 - 6 PM Sunday.

Owner Matt Mortenson was quoted on TV saying Zorba's would reopen; the
timeline looks like late Fall. They will have an updated theme, obviously,
as the Illini lore wall decorations and mural didn't survive.