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.