Popular East Texas restaurant destroyed in fire

(Source: KLTV News Staff)
(Source: KLTV News Staff)
(Source: KLTV News Staff)
(Source: KLTV News Staff)

WINNSBORO, TX (KLTV) - A popular East Texas restaurant is a total loss after an overnight fire.

It happened in Winnsboro at the Lone Republic Steakhouse.

Just four hours after locking up Thursday night, Owner Mike Blake received a heartbreaking early morning phone call notifying him that his restaurant was on fire.

"If you're owning a business you're always going to be facing challenges," says Blake. "You don't expect a challenge like this."

The restaurant, as well as the adjoining bar, were both destroyed.

"The outdoor pavilion pretty much escaped damage," says Blake. "But without the two indoor facilities, it's pretty much a loss, a total loss."

The family-owned business had become a staple in the Winnsboro community, and the building that housed it is 105 years old.

The Wood County Fire Marshall's office say's the building can be salvaged, but the Blake's say the future of their business is uncertain.

"Right now it's still pretty emotional," says Blake. "We've put a lot of our own blood, sweat and tears into this."

The family says they won't let the fire destroy their spirits or desire to serve their community.

"You just got to kind of overcome and keep going and that's going to be what we are going to do," says Blake.


WebExtra: Restaurant owner describe fire damage as "completely heartbreaking"

No injuries were reported, and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

The blaze did not spread to the Barrel House Bar and Grill next door, however, they did sustain smoke damage and will be closed for the next few days.

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