A fire that started in the kitchen of a popular Lemon Grove barbecue spot has temporarily closed the restaurant.
According to fire officials, the blaze at on Lemon Grove Avenue started at 12:09 p.m. Firefighters with the Lemon Grove Fire Department had the blaze extinguished in five to seven minutes, said Capt. Matt Pepin. The fire crawled up an oven vent and had spread to the roof by the time firefighters arrived, he said. Crews cut a hole in the roof to be sure the fire hadn’t spread to the attic, which Pepin said was the biggest concern.
Restaurant owner Brad Cooper said he was cooking as usual when some of the grease from the beef ribs dripped into the fire and sent flames up a kitchen wall.
“It was kind of scary,” Cooper said.
No one was hurt in the incident and Cooper doesn’t expect the restaurant to be closed for more than a few hours. He said he considers the damage done to the restaurant to be minimal.
But the restaurant, which opened in October, is missing out on customers while closed and Cooper said they’ve had to spend a lot on coolers and storage for all of the food while the power is out.
“We’re at that stage where every little penny counts,” he said.
Although the fire has set him back, Cooper still smiled and remained optimistic that business at his restaurant—rated No. 1 on Yelp—would resume as usual soon.
“Things have been going pretty good up until today,” he said with smile.