John Papas Cafe Closed After Overnight Fire

Sydney Jones, who has breakfast at John Papas Cafe every morning, peered through the glass after finding the front door shattered and the diner closed Sunday morning. Durell Godfrey photos

Those who showed up for breakfast at John Papas Cafe in East Hampton Village Sunday morning found the Greek diner closed due to an overnight kitchen fire.

The East Hampton Fire Department was called to 18 Park Place, located on a corner entrance to the Reutershan parking lot on Sunday at 2:14 a.m. An East Hampton Village police officer on patrol spotted smoke coming from the restaurant, according to Gerry Turza, the fire department's first assistant chief. Firefighters found "heavy smoke conditions" in the building and a fire in the kitchen, he said.

An Ansul system, a fire suppressant system designed for restaurants, had been activated. Firefighters finished the job of extinguishing the flames. The fire did not spread beyond the kitchen, but there was "considerable damage in the kitchen area," Chief Turza said.

There were no injuries and firefighters finished up at the scene just after 4 a.m. Chief Ken Wessberg turned the scene over to the East Hampton Town fire marshal's office to determine the exact cause of the fire.

Breakfast-goers found the restaurant closed Sunday morning. The glass front door was shattered, and the restaurant owner had not yet had a chance to leave a note for customers. 

A mainstay, John Papas Cafe opened over 20 years ago. It is open seven days a week for breakfast at 6 a.m., and also serves lunch and dinner.  

There was not much sign of a fire from the front of John Papas later on Sunday morning, except for a shattered front door.
The East Hampton Fire Department was called to John Papas Cafe at about 2:15 a.m.Michael Heller
Firefighters searched for any extension of the fire. Michael Heller
Michael Heller
Michael Heller
At left, Jamalia Hayes, the East Hampton Fire Department's second assistant chief, and Gerry Turza, the first assistant chief, helped Chief Ken Wessberg with fire operations. Micheal Heller
Michael Heller