An update on the Jerkface

As you know, I’ve taken to calling the fire that destroyed Las Velas, the Jerkface.



I hate the Jerkface. The Jerkface is like the Barney Stinson of fires. And I would like to draw a comparison here about “getting you all hot” and then something something.

Ah. It was right there, but I lost it.

But still. JERK. FACE. It’s all jerky up in the face.

Since the Jerkface came into our lives, it has been a new reality for us. On the surface, we are floating by effortlessly, smiles everywhere, la-la-la-la. Underneath the surface, we are kicking like mad, paddling constantly, doing what we need to to stay afloat.

Not complaining or whining; just telling you how it is. Like I said, a new reality for us, and we’re simply operating in the new reality we’ve been given with as positive an attitude as we can.

So many of you, especially lately, have asked for an update and here two and a half months after the Jerkface first showed up, I thought it a good time to give that update.

Here’s what Las Velas looks like right now:

That you may recognize as the dining area.

This you may not recognize as the kitchen:

And what used to be the stairs from the office to the kitchen, is now, well, a three story hole:

Whew. A little hard for me to look at those pictures even though I’m the one that took them a few weeks ago.

We’re getting close to the tail end of the insurance process, and until that process is complete both on our end and the end of the owner of the building, not much can happen, and that’s why we still have our burned out box.

Everything we own was removed by the restoration company and is being cleaned or counted as a total loss. That takes time as well.

Soon, hopefully soon, we’ll be able to get to work. As it stands now, Las Velas will hopefully open some time in May. Likely late May. Hopefully.

It’s a word I’ve been saying so much lately. Hopefully.

It’s kind of my life right now. Hoping. Praying. Waiting. Hoping. Praying. Waiting. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

But, make no mistake — we are fortunate and blessed and lucky and we embrace that every single day and we don’t take any small thing for granted.

Hopefully (ding!), I’ll have an update soon and can tell you that construction has begun in earnest and give you a solid re-open date. Until that time, we’re just going to keep on paddling like mad.

And smiling.


  1. PA Girl in VA
    February 14, 2011 10:55 pm

    I, for one, can say that next time we are in Pittsburgh, we will eat at Las Velas again if it is open. We had a wonderful meal there over Thanksgiving weekend and I had a great time getting drunk on the delicious margaritas!

    Ginny, I hope the progress continues to be forward-moving. I know it seems like it’s been forever since Jerk-Face showed up but you’ll be up and running in no time. I hope it continues to go well and, hopefully, the process will soon pick up some pace!

  2. Kristin
    February 14, 2011 11:19 pm

    I can’t even begin to imagine what this has been like for you, but please know that we’re all pulling for you. ANd we will be back at Las Velas, drinking margaritas and spending like crazy in reveng against the jerkface.

  3. Rob
    February 14, 2011 11:31 pm

    Looking forward to this being behind you and enjoying meals with friends at Las Velas.

  4. Jonathan
    February 14, 2011 11:33 pm

    I like what Kristin said about “revenge against the Jerkface”–I can’t wait to exact my own margarita-swilling revenge against the ugly bastard. Las Velas will come back better than ever, and you’ll have your minions there to celebrate. The waiting must be horribly frustrating for all of you…hope the rest of the way goes quickly and smoothly.

    As I’ve said before… ¡Viva Las Velas!

  5. Joey
    February 14, 2011 11:34 pm

    Yes we will stop in and eat and drink to support the payment of the deductible. I am sorry that such a nice and talented person(s) have to endure like this. Hang in there Ginny!

  6. Uncle Crappy
    February 14, 2011 11:34 pm

    First night you’re back. Chips. Salsa. Pastor tacos. And maybe a margarita or five.

    I can’t wait.

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  8. malbrec92
    February 15, 2011 12:08 am

    It seems like there is a lot of margarita-revenge planned! Someday I shall return to the Burgh, and when I do? Margaritas at Las Velas, baby!

  9. bucdaddy
    February 15, 2011 2:09 am

    My birthday is May 23.

    Just sayin’.

  10. BeauJacques
    February 15, 2011 2:51 am

    Can we get Pozole (the New Mexico-style) on the new menu??

  11. Christina
    February 15, 2011 5:59 am

    You know that you are in my thoughts and prayers all the time. So sorry to hear that you could not really start the reconstructions. It must be painful to look at this disaster for so long.

    I am very sad that I do not have a chance to check out Las Velas next week, but I am planning to come back sometimes in 2012 latest 2013 and then I will so have a mountain of tacos and a sea of strawberry magaritas (my favorit) there

    You guys just keep rockin’ as you do already! HUGS!

  12. Aileen
    February 15, 2011 7:46 am

    Well, if you’re gonna call it Jerkface, you might as well call it Garth Snow.

  13. plexxer
    February 15, 2011 9:31 am

    My wife and I will be waiting for the grand re-opening! Being the parents of two small children, we don’t get to go out too often, but our trip parents-night-out to Las Velas was one of the most enjoyable we’ve spent in recent history.

  14. CrashJK
    February 15, 2011 9:50 am

    Call Chef Robert Irvine and Foodnetwork – getcha selfs on “Restaurant Impossible” !!!

    Sorry, I’m a foodie who’s a hockey lover too !!!

    Good luck with the rebuild – mojo sent.

  15. Lauren
    February 15, 2011 10:24 am

    Chips. Salsa. Corralejo margaritas. Cool people.

    Oh, how we have missed you!

  16. Heather
    February 15, 2011 10:59 am

    I will be there drinking margaritas for sure.

  17. Jill
    February 15, 2011 11:52 am

    Count me among those who will be waiting in line on the re-opening night. We Downtowners need you back!

  18. Bram R
    February 15, 2011 11:58 am

    Late May! Even if it’s “hopefully”, it’s so nice to have a goal date affixed to the resurrection. Makes me happier today. Although it sounds like the insurance thing is wrapping up, did anything at all ever come of any investigatory attempts? Was always very interested in that.

  19. Silica
    February 15, 2011 7:19 pm

    My husband and I will definitely be there! It’s one of our favorite date spots!

    We’ll probably bring our new little bundle of joy as well – have to expose him to excellent food early! (Though probably not the margaritas….just probably.)

  20. Guins29
    February 15, 2011 7:24 pm

    Hubby and I go to the Burgh for our annual “maybe THIS is the year” summer trip to PNC…this year, we eat at Las Velas as well! If you’re open for lunch, it’s Margarita-liquid-lunch for me. I think I may have to be “high on life” to watch the Buccos.

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  22. kevin
    February 16, 2011 11:38 am

    Tough times, but you will come through it better than before. Just think of opening night? Like being born again. Best of luck, hope to tip a few back in May ate the new and improved Las Velas.

  23. DG
    February 17, 2011 1:49 pm

    Can’t wait to spend the summer lunching at Las Velas. Please do keep us updated on the reopening.