PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — A Portsmouth restaurant destroyed in a fire a year ago is almost set to reopen.

Owner Eli Sokarelis is putting the finishing touches on The Statey Bar and Grille. Its predecessor, the State Street Saloon, was destroyed in an April 2017 fire. Fire officials had said sprinklers could have prevented the blaze.

Sokarelis had hoped to open the new restaurant on April 10, the one-year anniversary of the fire. He says he needs to finish the kitchen and obtain city permits. Sokarelis is eying Tax Day for the opening.

Firefighters could only save a stool and a sign from the restaurant. However, Sokarelis says the The Statey Bar and Grille will feel like the old pub because it’s kept the same menu and staff.

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