More than a dozen Metropolitan Fire Brigade crews were called to contain a fire at longstanding CBD restaurant China Bar, on Monday night.

The Lonsdale and Russell Street intersection was closed from around 6pm as MFB warned people to avoid the area. Around $250,000 worth of damage is estimated to have occurred when fire spread from the kitchen in to to the ceiling.

With heavy smoke pouring out of the building, the MFB released a statement advising anyone in adjoining buildings to ensure all exterior doors, windows and vents are closed and that heating and cooling systems are turned off. Nearby businesses, such as Stalactites, closed for the night.

The blaze comes just weeks after [Bluebonnet Barbecue temporarily lost its Collingwood home]((, Sydney's Porteno Argentinean grill reopened after it was gutted by fire in January and fires at St Kilda's Stokehouse and Donovans are clear in recent memory.

Opened in 1996, the Russell Street restaurant was the first China Bar in Melbourne. There are now six China Bar venues across Melbourne and Adelaide.

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