A fire at a Chicago restaurant in late 2014 resulted in the closing of a famed eatery and sent a customer's deposit for a party up in flames. But a year and a half later the customer's persistence has paid off as the historic Chicago Firehouse plans to reopen this Fall.
The Firehouse Restaurant was built in 1905 as an actual firehouse, which served Chicago’s South Side until it was later turned into a restaurant. Celebrities and even a President were known to have dined at the historic eatery.
But the restaurant closed in December 2014, when a fire that investigators said started on the roof sent smoke billowing over Michigan Avenue. It took about 100 firefighters to extinguish the flames.
The building suffered extensive damage. And plans for another company’s office party were lost.
Debbie, an office manager who paid a $625 deposit months earlier to book the restaurant for the party, said Firehouse Restaurant management helped her secure another site for the event. She said when she contacted the restaurant about getting back the $625 deposit, she said she was told the insurance would need to be settled.
“Eventually, there was no communication,” Debbie wrote to NBC 5 Responds. “My emails would not be answered or returned. I just chalked it up to a lost cause.”
NBC 5 Responds contacted the restaurant, which responded by saying it contacted Debbie as soon as it learned about the incident. According to a restaurant spokesperson, a private dine manager had left the company.
“I believe the messages and emails were missed once she left,” the spokesperson said.
The restaurant sent a refund check to Debbie for $625.
“Within a week I had a refund check in hand for the full amount,” Debbie said.
Firehouse Restaurant said it is in the construction phase.