Top of the Market reopens after fire

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SAN DIEGO – The Fish Market's upstairs, upscale restaurant Top of the Market is ready for regulars to return after flames raced through the iconic eatery overlooking San Diego Bay in May.

The fire, which caused $1 million in damages, and also damaged the Fish Market below, was caused by an attic exhaust fan motor that seized and ignited. The Fish Market reopened in August.

"New colors, new carpet, new paint. We're just as proud as can be of the new restaurant," said Vice President Dwight Colton.

The restaurant, which had not been revamped since the late '80s, received an upgrade that cost about $2 million. Among the updates are larger windows, along with a portion of the dining room raised to improve bay views, where customers can see the USS Midway Museum, Naval Air Station North Island and the Coronado Bay Bridge.

"We actually reduced the seating slightly to enhance every great opportunity to get the views," Colton said. "We took every seat where a guest would have their back to the water and turned it so every guest could now see the water."

Umbrellas on the outdoor deck have been replaced with awning. In place of the restaurant's dark cork ceiling are lighter-colored panels.

Colton says all of the diners he's chatted with are happy with the modern, more contemporary makeover.

"All of the stars had to align perfectly for this to happen as quickly as it did," Colton said. "The fire was less than seven months ago. Here we are with our remodeled restaurant."

As a token of gratitude for their efforts, the restaurant is donating a portion of its proceeds to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Foundation which buys emergency escape equipment for city firefighters.

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