Saturday, February 23, 2008

el pollo rico burns down; chicken lovers distraught

Firefighters put out a fire at El Pollo Rico, a popular Peruvian restaurant in Downtown Wheaton. Photo by Chip Py.

El Pollo Rico, regional institution and purveyor of succulent Peruvian chicken in Wheaton, suffered major damage today as a grease fire broke out in the restaurant this morning. The restaurant, located in a strip of predominantly-Latino businesses on Ennalls Avenue in Wheaton, had previously been shut down by INS last summer for employing illegal immigrants. The owner of a neighboring dry cleaner explained that the fire broke out this morning and that it was put out shortly after. Several other businesses in the shopping center were also damaged by the blaze, according to Channel 7.

"El Pollo Rico is no El Pollo Fuego," laments local photographer Chip Py, who graciously offered us some photos of the damage. "I had planned on eating here tonight."

Two years after first hearing about El Pollo Rico in my Bethesda office, I have never gotten a chance to enjoy its chicken. Today, I am truly saddened by this great loss.

The restaurant this afternoon. Firefighters estimate some $1 million in damage was caused. Photo by Dan Reed.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't Chip Py be at DSS harrassing those poor African security guards and handing out Clinton propoganda?

Anonymous said...

I think Chip burned it down just to get the shot.

Anonymous said...

Thats what they get for hiring a bunch of non-English Speaking Boarder Jumping Illegals.........

Anonymous said...

Wow, whomever posted that last comment is really ignorant. I hope for your sake that changes someday...and I hope Pollo Rico gets back on it's feet. It was a delicious, Wheaton treat!

Anonymous said...

For someone facing tax evasion, money laundering, and INS charges, a grease fire is mighty handy,(if they were insured). How else will they pay a good lawyer, with a large chunk of their money, booked into evidence.

Anonymous said...

I think it's called "Jewish Lightening"

Anonymous said...

Hey "Anonymous 11:35 a.m.," go to hell.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, whomever posted that last comment is really ignorant.

February 25, 2008 6:02 PM

RE: Then your calling YOUR PEOPLE in Virginia Ignorant for being Fed Up With Law Breaking Illegal Immigrants messing up the quality of Life in Their Communities such as Herndon, Eastern Loudon County, Reston, and Eastern Prince William County.........

What have you done to voice your Opinion against The Officials in Prince William County for their Proposal to Make it Extremely Difficult for Illegal Immigrants to Live in Prince William County and Start Up their Own Business..........

Cochise said...

I consider all immigrants illegal. Ship them all out, everyone from the pilgrims till now.

Anonymous said...

The word Karma come to mind. Serves them right for money laundering and hiring illegals

Anonymous said...

I am just wondering if it is back into business now, used to visit them once a month.

Jen said...

wow ya'll are harsh..great food..great people...and for those idiots that said karma is a bitch blah blah blah...well its under new management..new workers..so uhh..yea take that into consideration...idiots..

Scenic Wheaton said...

Oh no! This is terrible news. I'm not sure what rock I've been hiding out under -but I just went by EPR yesterday and discovered they were closed! This was a historic Wheaton landmark and this fire is a total tragedy. I'm depressed you never got to try their chicken and their atmosphere.

Jacob said...

El Pollo Rico has reopened in Wheaton as of Tuesday 11/25. New location on University Blvd at Grandview, on the old Anchor Inn property