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Fire in Allston - Hanmaru burnt.

Huge 3 store fire has gutted my favorite Korean in town, the secret gem Hanmaru. It's very sad. looks like the fire started in the Grecian Diner next store which is destroyed.

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  1. Noooo. The end of the Grecian. Very sad this was a staple of my drunken twenties, many fond memories. Where will the drunken children nurse their hangovers with greasy breakfast now?

    1. Sorry for the multiple posts on this. Posting from my cellphone is harder than I thought. Thanks whoever cleaned up the extra posts.

      Hanmaru served what I thought was the ultimate Chowhound dish in this town - Gamja Tang - a stew of kimchi, potatoes and pork spine covered in spices and peppercorns and brought out on a hot plate. It looks like something from prehistoric times with massive spiky bones protruding from the broth. Almost every customer I ever saw in there was ordering it.

      The fire either started in the Grecian (which was apparently closed) or more likely in the laundromat next door. The back of the laundromat and all of the Grecian are burnt beyond repair and will need to be rebuilt. Hanmaru may rise from the ashes as it's only taken severe cosmetic damage. I hope so. More people need to try those amazing stews.

      9 Replies
      1. re: teaTomE

        I had planned to review Hanmaru for the Phoenix On the Cheap, focusing on that exact dish (thanks to your many raves about it, teaTomE). Rats.

        1. re: MC Slim JB

          The reports I've heard so far have said that the Grecian and the dry cleaners are destroyed, but that Hanmaru is much less bad. So, there you go. Obviously, that might be poor info.

          We had dinner at Gitlo's with friends tonight -- that whole block of Harvard was shut down at both ends, with cops, fire and ambulances everywhere.

          1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

            I hope you're right. Hanmaru is in a much better state right now than the charred remains of The Grecian. Most of the damage at Hanmaru is water damage and walls knocked through by the firemen.

            1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

              Not to get off topic but when I drove by Gitlo's this week I noticed the door propped open. Does that mean there's no AC in there? What was the temperature like inside? I love the food there but I hate being hot and humid when I'm stuffing my face.

              1. re: heypielady

                The door was closed and the fans were cranked last night, and it was perfectly fine in there.

                1. re: heypielady

                  Coincidentally, Barmy and I had dinner there last night with two friends. I was deeply worried about the same thing. They do have A/C - it's not the most powerful, but it wasn't too horrible considering what it was like out yesterday. In slightly cooler weather I don't think it should be a problem.

                  1. re: heypielady

                    we were there sunday early afternoon--right in the middle of the heat wave--and it wasn't too hot.

                    1. re: autopi

                      Thanks for putting my concerns at ease. I certainly don't need (or like) it ice cold. Good to know it was tolerable.

                2. re: MC Slim JB

                  For those curious about this dish, it appears to be what's served as "Gamja-Jungol" at Chung Ki Wa in Medford. It's under "hot pots" and a small is $14. Looks like maybe too much for me solo and my usual DCs are unlikely to go for it. How much was it (quantity and $) at Hanmaru?

              2. I can't imagine what the firefighters went through in putting out the blaze. 100-degree heat, blazing sunshine, and a four-alarm fire on a busy city street. Good God, it must have been brutal. I heard that a couple of them were overcome by the heat, but I believe they are going to be ok.

                Hopefully Grecian Yearning will rebuild and Hanmaru will re-open soon....

                1. Jeese- have their been a lot of restaurant fires lately or is it just me?

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: fmcoxe6188

                    There have indeed been a lot of fires that have hit restaurants in the area over the past couple of years...

                    Grecian Yearning
                    Hanmaru
                    James Hook
                    El Pelon
                    Java Jo's (Milton)
                    Szechuan Bay (Somerville)
                    Sal's (Waltham)
                    Tai Ho (West Roxbury)
                    Rincon Caribeno Restaurant (Hyde Park)
                    El Centro (Lawrence)
                    Murphy's Country Kitchen (Hyde Park)
                    Superior Roast Beef and Seafood (Lynn)
                    Holy Smokes (West Hatfield)
                    Brennan's (Manchester, NH)

                    I'm sure there have been several others in additions to the ones above, but I can't think of them offhand right now.

                    1. re: hiddenboston

                      Tapatio in East Somerville also was closed by a fire (and the building leveled). Kolbeh of Kabob also... and more. Framing on the reconstruction of the Tapatio space has been progressing along, although I didn't get a chance to chat with the construction crew to see if Tapatio will return to that location.

                      1. re: itaunas

                        Oh yah, Kolbeh of Kabob. Does anyone know if they ever re-opened?

                        1. re: amatto

                          Just to answer my own query, no, they're not open. But I passed by this
                          past weekend and they have a sign saying they'll be opening..peeked
                          in and work is being done. So I'm happy to discover that they will
                          reopen.

                      2. re: hiddenboston

                        I think that there was a Bickfords (?) in Natick (?) earlier this week as well- it just seems like all Im hearing about the past two weeks is restaurant fires...or maybe Im just concentrating on them because when I hear of loss of food I get especially sad...

                        1. re: hiddenboston

                          Joe's American Bar and Grill on Newbury and Dartmouth has a frie a couple of days ago.

                          Too bad about Grecian Yearning. I too have far-away memories of that place.

                        2. Don't forget El Oriental de Cuba a couple years ago :(

                          1. we are so sad about grecian yearnings. we moved here well after college, as a family, and a lot of our 3-year-old boy's important times were celebrated in this friendly flag-filled gem over pancakes bigger than his face. steered clear of harvard ave today, still wondering how to tell him -- stalling in the hopes that we can serve up something hopeful similar to the james hook declaration that they shall rise again. anyone?

                            1. The Grecian Yearning burned down in 1986, along with the laundromat next door.
                              That time, I think it was the laundromat's fault. They bounced back pretty quick.
                              Back then, it wasn't such a hit to the neighborhood because the Deli King and Blake's
                              and the Seven Stars were all still operating, and Steve's Kitchen had recently opened
                              up, so we had plenty of alternatives.

                              --ex allstonian, '80-'90

                              1. For the record, Color is also closed because of the fire.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Allstonian

                                  FYI, Color is still closed because of the fire (I could've sworn I've seen them open when driving by, but when I walked by last night, they were still closed!

                                  1. re: chowda

                                    You remembered correctly - they were open for about three weeks, but were closed down again this past Monday for reasons that are apparently still to do with the fire - I saw the notice on their door when I passed on the bus the other day. Very odd.