WHETHER it was jealousy, disgruntled staff or unfair competition, Elliott Wright has promised that the arsonists who razed his Costa del Sol restaurant will ‘only make it better’ in the long run.
“I’m devastated, but it’s not going to stop me from my plans to have the best restaurant on the coast,” he told the Olive Press this week.
“It’s going to be absolutely stunning, a million miles better than anywhere else.
“We are working on the designs over the next few days. It will be beautiful. The upstairs part in particular is going to be completely different.”
The entrepreneurial Playa in Marbella TV star had only just recruited a brand new team – including a chef and manager and vowed to fight for a Michelin star – when arsonists torched his restaurant in the middle of the night two weeks ago.
The popular celebrity hot spot in La Cala de Mijas was badly damaged in the fire, which began around 5am on April 26.
A police investigation is still probing the blaze, which Wright, 41, believes was started by a competitor.
“The Guardia Civil told me that is their theory although they can’t say too much,” he revealed this week.
“They have CCTV of them and they are investigating.
“It’s either jealousy, a member of staff I sacked, or competition. I’ve got no enemies and think it’s competition.
“Quite a few new restaurants have opened up off the back of my success. Eradicating me then you have 600 people a night going to eat elsewhere. That is a lot of people and a lot of money. The Guardia Civil told me that.”
He added:”I just can’t believe the timing just a week after I buried my dad. How could they do that?’
His main problem now is timing to try and get the place up and running before the summer season.
The insurance company handling the claim are ‘taking longer’ than hoped and he is juggling a lot of things’.
“I’m pulling my hair out and having to juggle a lot of things,” he told the Olive Press.
“I was hoping they were going to pay out in two weeks but now the insurance is saying 40 days now.
“We are also trying to source things from all over the world during this pandemic – trying to get 300 to 400 square metres of tiles quickly is proving difficult.”
He meanwhile thanked all the goodwill from expats on the coast and from friends and family back home.
In particular he thanked his former TOWIE colleague James ‘Arg’ Argent who vowed to come over and help him rebuild.
“If Arg wants to come out and help he’s more than welcome,” he revealed.”But I’ve seen him labouring before and he’s more of a hindrance than a help. He spends all his time talking to the builders and getting in the way. It would be better for him to come at the end for the relaunch.”
It came after Arg appeared on TV show Loose Women in the UK to say he was ‘rooting for him’.
He said: “If anyone can turn this around and build Olivia’s back to where it was, it’s him and we’re all rooting for him.
“Even if it means I’ve got to fly out to Spain when I can and start labouring and helping him out then I will.”
The 41-year-old former The Only Way Is Essex star also shared a video of him walking through the La Cala restaurant, showing how it had been ravaged by flames.
Elliot slammed those responsible for the blaze as ‘scumbags’ but vowed his ‘beautiful restaurant will be back.’
Speaking to his followers on the video, Elliott said: “So probably one of my worst videos I’ve ever made.
“My beautiful restaurant, my dream that I always dreamt of having, that I built six years ago, that was still work in progress, has been completely destroyed, absolutely destroyed.”
He added: “Devastated. And I can say now that it is arson. Someone’s come and took my whole dream away, for whatever reason I’ll never know, because I don’t have any enemies as far as I’m aware, I didn’t think I did.
“Whether it’s jealousy or competition, it doesn’t really matter.”
In another post to his Instagram he said: “My dream has been cruelly taken away from me by some spiteful nasty people, for what ever reason I will probably never know, all that matters really is that I will rebuild and WILL be back.. @olivias_la_cala 2021 may be delayed more then we wanted… but we have all waited long enough, a little longer and we will be back with a bang.. I want to thank everyone who has came with offers of help or a simply kind message, I’ve genuinely been touched, including my Spanish community as well as the mayor Josele Gonzalez, you have all been amazing, you realise in time of trouble the people that are there for you..”
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