A year-and-a-half after a popular restaurant in Northwest D.C.'s Petworth neighborhood went up in flames, the family-owned business is almost ready to reopen, but it’s lacking one important thing: food.
Fish in the Hood on Georgia Avenue is a place where locals gather for a perfect combo of soul and seafood.
"He knows how to make a fish dance," one customer said. "My stomach is overdue; it's waiting."
But in April 2017 the day before Good Friday, the restaurant’s busiest day of the year, “Somehow this deep fryer started to flame up like a blow torch,” owner William White said.
“It got to the point the fire got started, we couldn’t get it out," White said. "One of the customers told us, ‘Get out, get out.’”
Within minutes, the fire department took over.
Then, after a months-long investigation and insurance sorting, work to reopen began.
“I’m doing all the work,” White said. "I've done all the work."
He’s making great progress toward a soft opening in just a few weeks with help from the community and a GoFundMe page that raised $8,000, but he needs about the same amount to finish the work and restock the fish case.
Meanwhile, faithful customers are anxious for that food, and they, too, can see the finish line.
“The question is, ‘How do we get across?’” White said. “So we’re so close, yet so far.”