A fire tore through a Palms strip mall. Some restaurant owners are still reeling from the devastation

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Jay Betts had planned to spending his day preparing a catering order for a wedding with 200 guests. Instead he woke to a 6 a.m. phone call bearing some of the worst news a business owner can hear: There’d been a fire, still raging, and no one was aware of the extent of the damage.

Betts and a handful of other restaurateurs are still feeling the effects of a deadly fire that ravaged a strip mall in Palms last month, shuttering multiple businesses — one restaurant possibly permanently — and forcing relocation, pivots, a building-wide drop in business and losing what one estimates to be thousands of dollars each day in its wake.

“I was making almost $3,000 a day,” said Betts, owner of Bernie’s Soul Kitchen. “Now I’m making only maybe $600.”

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