Burnt Out Reno's Pizzeria May Be Open in a Month

The site of the fiery crash scene is slowly being fixed.

On a recent weekend day, Nick Tsaturyan and his son Yervand continued to survey the damage of their famliy pizza business which erupted into a fireball when a car hit the outside of Reno's Pizzeria and Restaurant on Sunday morning, Sept. 9.

"I just always thank God that it was not during the day and not during business hours," Tsaturyan said. "Everyone would have been killed. Everyone."

The front window was smashed when the car hit at estimates of 100 mph, and the boards outside had tributes written in both Russian and English to the three young people who perished in the crash. 

The car hit two trees and a gas line which is why the whole place erupted into flames. A witness that night, Patrick Regan, who was working across the street at the Studio City Rehabilitation Center, said the heat was so intense, they couldn't get across the street to help. He saw the pizzeria in flames, and one of the victims crawling out of the wreckage.

Now, the family-owned business is cleaning up. The melted sign out front came down last week, and the peeled off the flat screen TV at the far end of the restaurant that literally melted to the wall.

Reno's has been at the Studio City location at Ventura Boulevard at Tujunga for two decades. They're famous for the margarita pizza and antipasto salad, and people drive from all over to try the chicken alfredo, the chicken parmesan and the lasagna that takes seven hours to prepare. There's another Reno's in Burbank run by Nick's son, who worked at the pizzeria since he was 15.

Customers come by during reconstruction and ask every day when they're reopening. It was a community place that people came to have a beer, order a pizza and maybe watch a game.

Mourners are still leaving flowers and photos outside the door. The pieces of the car, the boards with the messages and other memorabilia has been removed. The parents of one youth has stayed in contact with the owners. Tsaturyan said he is ready to have things get back to normal.

"We are hoping to open within a month," the owner said. "We will have a grand re-opening."

(See photos above of how the restaurant looked before the crash and how it looks know.)

For more about the accident and the people involved, CLICK HERE.

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