Main Street Cafe partially burns in localized fire
Main Street Cafe in the beloved downtown Madison district partially burned Thursday in a fire that began outside the building. There were no injuries.
Housed inside Madison’s third city hall (circa 1955), Main Street Café has been a popular restaurant in the heart of the city since it first opened in 2000. Although the fire looked to be a major blaze, it was fortunately contained mostly to the outside of the building. It did cause enough damage inside for the café to be closed for the next few weeks for repairs.
According to Madison Fire Marshall Dustin Spires, the fire started with a discarded cigarette outside the building.
Spires stated the flames began around 11:20 a.m. and their first unit was on scene at 11:23 a.m. The fire was quickly out by 11:39 a.m.
“We would like to remind everyone to be mindful of how you put out your smoking materials,” he said.
An employee of Main Street Cafe attempted to put the fire out with an extinguisher, but the flames were already too big for it.
Tammy Hall, the owner of Main Street Cafe, and the other employees were notified of the fire by a customer that walked in letting them know of the fire outside. A cook went to investigate and informed another employee they needed to call 911. They did and immediately evacuated the restaurant. One employee even said, “We had a couple of ladies take their mint tea to go.”
The fire damaged the exterior of the building, a back shed, the dumpster area, and parts of the roof. The only interior damage was to the back storeroom.
“We do unfortunately have to close so clean up and repairs can be done,” Hall said. “We are looking at one to two months before we can be completely operational. We will post on Facebook, Instagram and our website as progress is made.”
Hall added that she was encouraged by the amount of support from the Madison community.
“Thank you to everyone who has called, emailed, texted and posted,” she said. “We love Madison and all the surrounding areas that have kept Main Street Cafe Madison going for 23 years. We are down, but not out. Many thanks to our awesome staff who stayed and helped us save what product we could and to Madison Fire Department, Serve Pro and Continental Roofing for getting us moving on repairs immediately. We are counting our blessings knowing that it could have been so much worse.”
Main Street Café is well known for its eclectic blend of Southern Comfort food, and the history of the building, which also housed the city’s jail during its time as a city hall. In fact, patrons at Main Street Cafe can have lunch or dinner in one of the two jail cells, which remain from the “old days” when this City Hall included offices for the Chief of Police and his deputy on the east end of the building.
For information about reopening, you can find Main Street Café on Facebook or go to mainstreetcafemadison.com.