Elvis has left the building...

Many of you may have heard that Portofino was closed for nearly three weeks last month as a result of an accidental fire which occurred in the early hours of Thursday 3rd March. Residual heat in a bucketful of recently washed and dried tea towels resulted in a fire at around 2am. But for the vigilance of the Historic Quay's night watchman, who heard the smoke alarm and saw the flames through the restaurant's kitchen windows, the whole place would have been gutted. Kevin Mason who was doing his usual round immediately called the emergency services which turned up very quickly to put out the fire. Part of the kitchen was gutted with fire but moreover, the entire restaurant was smoke damaged. A great team of craftsmen came to the rescue under the directions of Adam, restaurant manager Elaine and head-chef Noel.

The restaurant reopened on 22nd March less than three weeks after the fire.

All is well that ends well... except for losing Elvis and Marilyn Monroe who adorned our Mediterranean balconies. Two cardboard cutouts bought over 12 years ago in Edinburgh and carried the length of Princes Street under the gaze of bemused passers-by.

Unlike the real Elvis, ours may one day return. Let's hope it is sooner rather than later.

Hartlepool Mail Report.