Around 1:30 a.m. alerts came in about a "fire in a factory/restaurant" on Kent Avenue (map) in Williamsburg. Word is coming in now that the "early morning fire gutted a landmark Northside diner, causing damage to an adjacent arts collective at Kent Avenue and Metropolitan." The establishment suffering extensive damages is the former Miss Williamsburg Diner (more recently 718), with the two-story building next door getting less scathed.

While the diner may be a long time fixture in the neighborhood (even making a cameo in Charlie Kaufman's Synechdoche, New York), the neighboring building known as "Monster Island" has recently drawn crowds through promoter Todd P. It also houses the Live With Animals and Secret Project Robot galleries, Mollusk surf shop, and possibly some band practice spaces.

UPDATE: Todd P tells us, "We survived unscathed, save for a kicked in door and a busted out window on the second floor. No water, fire, or smoke damage, thankfully. Muchas Gracias to the FDNY!"