For years, the row of restaurants along Peterborough Street served as a gathering place for the college students, young professionals and longtime residents that make up that quaint Fenway neighborhood.

That was, until a massive fire destroyed six restaurants and a dry cleaner in January 2009.

Since then, the corner where people would constantly be coming and going for a quick lunch or a relaxed dinner has sat idle. But there have finally been signs of progress this week.

Construction workers yesterday carried pieces of plywood through the doors of what used to be Thornton’s Fenway Grille, which still showed blackened scars from the fire. The workers started Monday and were weatherizing the base structure to get it ready for occupancy.
“Yes! Yes!” said Jeanette Ector, while pumping her fists, after hearing the news. The 25-year neighborhood resident said she was excited to again smell the food through her window.

The excitement was shared by the restaurant owners who are returning, including El Pelon Taqueria and Thornton’s.

“We’ll be back and we’ll still be the neighborhood place,” said Marty Thornton, who co-owns the restaurant with his brother.

Jim Hoben, owner of El Pelon, said he talked with property owner Monty Gold in recent weeks about getting back in the same spot the business operated from for 11 years.

“A lot of people were getting impatient, along with us,” Hoben said.

Latest From ...