Local

Kona’s Deli’s future uncertain

Paula and Eric Boggs salvage items from their Kona's sandwich shop in San Luis Obispo.
David Middlecamp
3-9-2010
Paula and Eric Boggs salvage items from their Kona's sandwich shop in San Luis Obispo. David Middlecamp 3-9-2010

The two businesses that escaped last week’s fire intact at Foothill Square in San Luis Obispo reopened Tuesday.

The Rock & Roll Hair Salon and SLO Textbooks opened their doors to business for the first time since last Wednesday, when a fire gutted several nearby businesses.

San Luis Obispo fire investigators announced late last week that arson is suspected, and an investigation is ongoing. No suspects have been named.

The blaze destroyed the Cabo San Luis Restaurant and severely damaged several adjacent businesses, including Kona’s Deli.

As the salon and bookstore prepared to welcome customers Tuesday, Paula and Eric Boggs, owners of the popular sandwich shop, sifted through the rubble of what is left of their business.

Charred walls, melted chairs and tables, shards of glass and 3 inches of black sludge on the floor are all that remains of the deli’s dining area.

Paula Boggs, who has owned the business for eight years, managed to keep a rueful smile on her face as she attempted to pull out anything she could salvage.

Boggs said she hopes to stay in the same location because the business has been there since 1989, but she doesn’t know when the chance to reopen will come.

Dan Rutledge, the complex’s property manager, said it might be weeks before any of the damaged buildings are worked on.

“There are portions of the structure that might be salvageable, and we are working day by day with the engineers and building officials to get a game plan for demolition and reconstruction,” Rutledge said. “We are moving as fast as we can.”

Samantha Barkhuff, owner of Rock & Roll Hair Salon, said she worries that despite being reopened, her business will suffer because of the lack of foot traffic from the other businesses.

“Only time will tell,” Barkhuff said.

Reach AnnMarie Cornejo at 781-7939.

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