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Fire ravages Flip's Wine Bar and Trattoria



Flip's Wine Bar & Trattoria will be closed for a few weeks while repairs are being made after this morning's fire.  

Oklahoma City Fire Chief G. Keith Bryant said a security guard reported the blaze into the fire department.

"He spotted the flame in the northeast corner of the building and noticed smoke inside the restaurant," Bryant said. "Come to find out, (co-owner) Gail Vines said the neon sign had been worked on in the past couple of days.

"This is not confirmed, but we believe that the fire started there and it may have had something to do with the damage to the structure. We estimate $75,000 to the structure and $25,000 to the contents. That's just our estimate and has nothing to do with insurance," he said.

Bryant also said that Flip's was one of his and his wife's favorite places to eat in the metro.

While battling the blaze, firefighters brought out items that were precious to the owners. One firefighter was injured when a tool he was using broke and hit him on the head.

The popular Italian-themed restaurant at 4801 N. Western is owned by Betsy Mitschke and Gail Vines. Mitschke and her ex-husband, Jim San Filippo, established the restaurant in 1985.

"We will be closed for a couple of months," Mitschke said. "We will be closed, but we will have a grand re-opening and we will come back better than ever."

The 25th anniversary of Flip's, one of Oklahoma City's most beloved restaurants and wine bars,was to be celebrated " and still will be " on Feb. 8.

But Mitschke is still optimistic about the tragedy.

"At least it didn't burn to the ground," she said.;"Carol Smaglinski

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