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Manchesters's Chez Vachon to reopen Saturday after kitchen fire

MANCHESTER - Chez Vachon, the West Side restaurant known for its French Canadian fare as well as for being a stop along the Presidential Primary campaign, expects to reopen Saturday after a kitchen fire last Monday.

A major overhaul was needed in a short amount of time so that the popular restaurant at 136 Kelley St. could open at 6 a.m. for its regular Saturday morning breakfast crowd.

It meant the stove, ceilings and food all had to be replaced, tables and chairs and the restaurant's interior needed a power wash, vents had to be pulled out and cleaned of sooty residue, and walls had to be painted, according to owner Robert Perkins.

"We pretty much did everything, soup to nuts," he said.

Perkins expects the restaurant will get the OK to open once it passes inspection, slated for Friday afternoon.

A neighbor reported the fire after seeing smoke coming from the restaurant about 5:30 p.m. Monday. Firefighters quickly extinguished the flames.

Perkins said a burner on the stove did not turn off completely and a plastic cutting board, placed on top of what was thought to be a cold stove to air dry, caught fire after a few hours.

The blaze heavily damaged the stove, which had to be replaced, but an automatic fire suppression system kept flames from spreading throughout the restaurant.

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