Edited to Add: I was sent this message from the West Portal Merchants Association:
“Many are saddened by the fire that has destroyed the building at the corner of West Portal Ave. The biggest tragedy is that there are over 60 displaced employees. Loss of employment just before the Holidays adds to the stress. An account has been set up with Bank Of America to accept donations. You can walk into any B of A Bank and ask to deposit into the “West Portal Fire” account. ALL money received will be distributed to the displaced employees. All overhead costs are being funded by the West Portal Avenue Association A.K.A West Portal Merchants Association. Please be generous to those most affected by the fire.”
West Portal Merchant’s Association
And the Greater West Portal Neighborhood Association noted that the city is trying to help and they’ll keep us informed.
“The City plans to expedite permits for repairs. In fact, Regina told me that Squat & Gobble already has their permits. They will help with legal and relocation activities. They are awaiting the Department of Building Inspections decision on if the Vin Debut building can be rebuilt or must be torn down.”
There’s been a large fire at West Portal. Early yesterday morning, a blaze started at Squat and Gobble restaurant, and spread to the wine bar next door as well as an orthodontist’s office. There’s CBS report about it HERE.
I went by around midnight. Squat & Gobble is boarded up, so is the wine shop; and a fire-truck is parked beside them.
People in the bars across emerged from time to time to look. I’m guessing that each time someone new went in the bar, they were being told what had happened. A couple of buses and a train came by. Muni seemed to be running normally.
A white van – fire department surveillance of some kind? – sat in front of the West Portal Tunnel entrance. In front of the Studio Redz salon, a sad pile of debris was cordoned off with yellow tape and a traffic cone.
Even as I left, a few people stood on the sidewalk pointing at the burned out building. A smell of smoke still hung in the air.
[Edited to Add: A few more pictures, showing the damage in the day time. The inside was gutted. I took these on Oct 25th, but did not get around to posting them until now.
Soon, I hope, this will merely be a sad memory.]
CAFE FOR ALL SEASONS COULDN’T WEATHER THIS
In other, non-fire-related news: Cafe for All Seasons is apparently closed for good. The other day, I was surprised to see it shut mid-week and at lunchtime. Expecting a temporary closure, I jumped out of my car to read the note on their door for the dates. Instead, it was an eviction notice. Pity, that. First West Portal Bakery, gone equally suddenly, now this. I hope whoever moves in will be as popular as Goat Hill Pizza, which took West Portal Bakery’s spot.