OAKHURST - Posillipo's Italian Restaurant on Route 35 in Oakhurst was destroyed by fire Wednesday, before it ever opened for business.
The early morning fire ripped through the building that used to be Don Chucho's Mexican Restaurant, leaving the inside a pile of rubble and charred remains.
The owner was in the process of renovating the building.
"The fire was so great that all we were able to do was surround it and get as much water on it as possible," says Oakhurst Fire Chief Bob Nelson. "There wasn't that much more we could do with it."
The fire caused the closure of Route 35 in Ocean Township for a few hours, but it has since reopened.
Firefighters say the extreme cold made their job even tougher as water they sprayed on the blaze froze on the ground, making conditions slippery.
Officials have not released any information on the cause of the fire.