Cause of Ambridge restaurant fire still unknown

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As Martin Costanzo peeled the license plate from his scorched truck Thursday morning, the air still smelled like charred wood a day after a massive blaze consumed his Ambridge restaurant.

Ambridge fire Chief David Drewnowski said the cause of the Wednesday morning three-alarm fire that destroyed Rook’s Cantina 505 on 282 Fourth St. was unknown, although arson had been ruled out. A complete report is expected today, Chief Drewnowski said.

In the meantime, Mr. Costanzo, one of the restaurant’s owners, is attempting to find a new normal in the midst of the demise of his wife’s “dream restaurant.” His wife, Denise Romero, is co-owner.

Rook’s Cantina, formerly known as Rook’s East Side Saloon when former Pirates pitcher Jim Rooker owned it, opened this spring — $40,000 worth of the new owners’ life savings went toward preparing the restaurant for its grand opening, Mr. Costanzo said.

The building is scheduled to be demolished this weekend.

Michael Majchrowicz: or on Twitter @mjmajchrowicz

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