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Nashville Venezuelan restaurant recovering after devastating fire

In World
June 08, 2024

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Nestled on Nolensville Pike is Nashville Venezuela Food, which aims to share its restaurant’s Latin flavors with the community. It’s been there for years — despite a fire destroying the interior this week.

For those just passing by, it may seem like nothing more than a burned-out restaurant. However, for Isaac Gomez, it was much, much more.

“One of my dreams was to have the first Venezuelan restaurant in Nashville,” Gomez said.

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Years ago, Gomez and his business partner opened Nashville Venezuela Food with that dream in mind. It’s a dream that’s still going despite little being left inside.

“My business partner called me at like 8 something in the morning, and said ‘Hey the business is on fire,’ and I was like, ‘What?’” said Gomez. “As you can see, everything happened so fast.”

This week, the business that was created as a place for the community is now hoping that those same people can lend a hand in rebuilding it.

“I never thought that it was going to look like this. I thought maybe the kitchen area was going to be damaged and we were going to be able to fix it pretty quick[ly], but no actually the whole floor is damaged,” Gomez said.

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The Nashville Fire Department (NFD) was dispatched to the restaurant for reports of a fire. When they arrived, they found heavy smoke coming from the commercial building. Their report:

Crews are making an interior attack and have found the source of the smoke, considering the fire to be extinguished at the time. They are checking for extension and hot spots, as heavy smoke was found in both the roof and the basement/sublevel of the building. Fans and other ventilation techniques are being used to clear the smoke from the building. There are no injuries reported at the time.

NFD

“I went into shock mode for a couple of minutes. I’m like, ‘It’s on fire how?’” Gomez said. “I came in around 6:30 in the morning with the pest control people to fumigate the whole place and then we went out around 7:30 in the morning. I went home to go change and when he got back here like around 8:20, the firefighters were already here putting out the fire.”

Now, through the damage, Gomez is finding there are still more pieces to pick up, especially with his employees now out of work.

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“I think we’re going to be able to do all the cleaning ourselves, but there is still money involved and I still have to pay rent. I still have to pay electricity. The bills, they keep coming, you know,” he said.

Gomez and his partner, Felix Carrillo, have set up a GoFundMe to raise money to pay for bills and repairs as the insurance claim is being processed. To support the business and learn more about their efforts, click here.

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