Fire burns Capitol Hill’s Galerias in smoky Broadway blaze

(Image: CHS)

Thick smoke spread across north Broadway as flames rose from the roof of the building home to Galerias restaurant early Thursday morning. Seattle Fire is investigating the cause of the fire which took more than 45 minutes to bring under control and did extensive damage inside the Mexican restaurant.


36 thoughts on “Fire burns Capitol Hill’s Galerias in smoky Broadway blaze

  1. Didn’t they have $50,000 “stolen” from a safe this past summer that they were trying to get insurance to pay for?

    Just saying…. All this seems a bit odd to me.

  2. Guess when business drops off, owners have gotta get creative in trying to make quick cash. Probably locked in a lease, and already spent their insurance settlement faster than what they planned, and knew another robbery wouldn’t look so good this time… So why not blaze the place, claim lost business while closed, damages, (very expensive damages) and presto! They are back in the green! Ca-ching! Now if only every other hurting business out there woulda thought the same thing! Guess no more “robbery and fire” claims will be to practical for a while in that area.

  3. My last meal there was a lunch a few months ago….we were the only customers, and the food was really mediocre. The place seemed to have gone way downhill, and my guess is that business was very poor.

    Just sayin…

  4. they did used to be a great restaurant, especially when they were on the corner of broadway and john and then slowly over the years, they just went completely down hill. i was there last december and they served french bread with some type of onion dip–at a mexican restaurant. i was so offended, i almost walked out right on the spot. i haven’t been back, and wouldn’t go back without the fire, since.

  5. What the hell is going on on our side of this burg? First the rape and now THIS?!?!

    I never ate at Gallerias much but really liked their brunch more than their general nightly fare. I always saw people dining there and I thought it was great that they had a club night there on weekends, so I’m not sure about the “going downhill” thing.

    Not to be crass, but when I first passed the firetrucks this morning I gasped, prepared for the worst, and thanked god that it wasn’t Rom Mai Thai that had caught on fire.

  6. Me four. $50,000 kept in a restaurant safe. And then to have it *stolen* out of the safe yet lucky enough to have it insured? Yowza! I’ve managed two restaurants and the most cash I’ve ever known to be in the safe was around $3000-$4000.

  7. This fire reminds me of another sad case in Portland. About 10 years ago, the Burlingame Grocery burned to the ground in a huge early-morning fire. The store was known for its gourmet food, but especially for its amazing beer & wine selection. Sadly, the owner was convicted of torching his own store …incredibly, a breakroom video survived the intense heat & the owner was ID’d from that video as being in the room just before the fire started.

    This case seems suspicious from the start. Business has been down, and the outlandish amount of cash recently reported to have been stolen makes me think Galerias will never reopen. I hope I’m wrong – I’ve had great meals there – but this just doesn’t look right.

  8. Sad to say but I think you’re right. I’m glad that I’m not the only one who thinks that a restaurant keeping that much cash on hand is *F-I-S-H-Y*. Some local semi-main branch banks sometimes don’t keep that much cash in their vault.

    And of course, The owner is out of town, out of state and out of the country.

  9. I’m assuming the attached bar (611 Lounge) is toast too? My boyfriend and I love that place. Stiff drinks, super awesome (and booze knowledgeable) Bar Manager. We were just there on Tuesday. I never ate at the Restaurant but I was planning on it.

  10. They’ve been on Groupon Now for awhile – odds are it’s an on-going promotion and Groupon just hasn’t updated. They had a Groupon Now deal going for Varro a few days or maybe even weeks after the bar had shut down. I contacted Groupon and let them know and they pulled the deal from the site.

  11. Does anyone know if the owner actually received back the $50,000 from his insurance company after the “theft”? I would think that company would have been as skeptical as most of us that this crime had actually taken place.

  12. I hope they are able to re-open. I’ve always loved their food and enjoyed an occasional drink in their lounge. It was a little splash of color on Broadway. I think its funny how people jump to conclusions
    without having any facts. Pure gossip!

  13. …tried to go for dinner tonight, but the restaurant is thick with the smell of smoke. Worse still is that they’ve tried to cover the odor with fruity candles. I couldn’t breathe and had to leave.

  14. Someone should seriously investigate the owner. He’s failed several health inspections. He had $50,000.00 stolen from the safe in June (who the hell keeps that kind of money in a safe of a failing restaurant)! The money was insured. Now, a mysterious fire 5 months later while the owner is in Mexico? The owner belongs in prison.

  15. Who in the hell are you? Do you even know Romero? He is the kindest most generous man that i have ever known. I hope he does reopen and prove all you naysayers wrong!

  16. You know, it certainly does seem shady, and the fact that the investigation continues is telling (the ominous signs posted on the plywood over the doors and the fact that Servpro hasn’t been in there yet to get rid of the horrible smell emanating from the building tells me there’s something in there that is saying more than just “a pile of dirty rags got hot” or “a gas line ruptured”)… but let’s not go hurling accusations at someone until all the facts are on the table.

  17. WTF ! Like, honest you guys shouldn’t b saying 50,000$ were “stolen”. If they say they were stolen then they are. Evryone is different in how much money they keep in there safes. Who care if you have 3-4 thousand in your safe. Your pretty damn stupid to say that on here. You can have your money stolen too stupid ass.

  18. It appears comments with hidden identities from residents of Seattle spewing vitriolic accusations are a standard regarding the fire at the restaurant. There are some nasty cynical people out there. It is an annual event that we go to Seattle for New Years and have dinner at the restaurant and the people I know and meet are no where near as dark natured as those that have suggested condeming slurs on the owner and restaurant….. Get you facts before hurling people. Innocent until proven guilty, isnt that the American way or is it?
    We will miss it… ok the food changed a little but the atomosphere,the golden cadilacs and staff and owner were great.
    Good Luck Ramiro