Bel Cibo swings open for business in Schenectady

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – In March a massive fire on Schenectady’s Jay Street claimed four lives and displaced people and businesses.

On Tuesday one of those businesses, a restaurant, has swung back open its doors.

“The empty space behind this chain link fence is a poignant reminder of that deadly fire, but just steps down Jay Street are signs of re-growth,” said Jeanette Massaro, owns Bel Cibo Bistro.

In the early hours of March 6th a devastating fire would cause loss of life and loss of livelihood.

jay street fire

“My land lord called me and said the buildings are on fire, come down,” said Massaro.

Nine months later Jeanette Massaro’s restaurant, Bel Cibo Bistro has come back to life. The kitchen is bustling and the tables are filling up.

“We get to feed people and we’re in the spot we want to be so can’t complain,” said Massaro.

And neither can her loyal customers.

“I said open? And they said yes so I said that’s where we’re going – across the street,” said customer Tom Della Sala.

Like many in Schenectady, Linda Sweet has a personal connection to the fire.

“It was horrible, because I work right at City Hall and I have a friend who was involved in it,” Sweet explained.

The road to re-opening wasn’t an easy one.

Reza Zand reopened his restaurant Persian Bite in a new location just two weeks ago and says his customers came back.

“Most of them come in and that was amazing,” Zand said.

It’s the support that’s helping businesses and the community heal from tragedy.

Bel Cibo is expanding into Persian bite’s former location that will eventually be a specialty food store. Right now the restaurant is only open for lunch.

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