Damage extensive at Wasatch Brew Pub
Ryan Summerlin November 13, 2012
The Wasatch Brew Pub wants to reopen at least part of the Main Street establishment by Thanksgiving, the owner said on Monday, acknowledging that the damage from a Friday morning fire was extensive.
Greg Schirf, the owner, said sections of the Wasatch Brew Pub that were not damaged in the fire could reopen first. The restaurant and bar has been closed since the fire.
"We’re doing OK. There’s some pretty severe damage, but we’re back at it," Schirf said.
Schirf did not provide details about what sections of the Wasatch Brew Pub could be reopened by Thanksgiving. He said he hopes the entire place is open by Christmas week, which is typically busy in Park City with skiers and snowboarders arriving for the holidays.
Schirf said between 25 percent and 30 percent of the Wasatch Brew Pub suffered damage that needs to be repaired. He said the space suffered fire, smoke and water damage. The worst damage is in the southeast corner, particularly in a bathroom and on a deck. The restaurant was drenched in the firefighting.
"It’s disheartening to see something you built 25 years ago," he said about arriving at the scene after the fire. "It was pretty daunting."
He said, though, the brewing section of the building was not damaged. No beer was lost.
Schirf hired a disaster-cleanup firm to assist. The smell of smoke remained strong inside the Wasatch Brew Pub midday on Monday. Inside some of the space was charred while other areas did not appear damaged by the flames.
Numerous fans were operating in an effort to ventilate the building while protective plastic curtains were put up in what appeared to be an effort to keep the smell of smoke contained. Glassware was seen stacked and the kitchen appeared to be intact. The men’s bathroom suffered extensive damage. Installations were charred.
A sign on one of the doors facing the outside told customers the Wasatch Brew Pub is "closed due to a small fire." It said the restaurant-bar would be reopening soon and people could go to a sister restaurant, Squatters Roadhouse Grill, in Park City.
"We’ve got to get in, get it cleaned up first, catch our breath," Schirf said.
Schirf said no employees would lose their jobs as a result of the closure.
The fire broke out Friday morning, with the first call to the authorities logged at a little after 6 a.m. Firefighters in approximately 40 minutes put out the blaze and made sure there would not be a flare-up. Nobody was inside when the fire started.
The Park City Building Department investigated the fire, but the results of the probe were not immediately available. Schirf said last week the preliminary investigation focused on rags that were used by workers resurfacing floors spontaneously combusting in the men’s bathroom that was badly damaged.
A dollar estimate of the damage was not available early in the week.
If Schirf is able to keep to the Thanksgiving timeline for at least a partial opening, the Wasatch Brew Pub would be open for the normally busy ski season, a time that is critical to businesses in Park City. The place would be open for the Christmas-to-New Year’s week, when Main Street is typically jammed with visitors.
The Wasatch Brew Pub dates to 1989 and is among the best known of Park City’s restaurants. Its brewing operation is billed as Park City’s first since Prohibition. Schirf, meanwhile, has been one of the state’s leading critics of Utah laws regulating alcohol.