J.W. Reed’s Tavern was destroyed in a fire Sunday morning.
The fire started before the restaurant opened, so there were no customers present, but co-owner Regina Ward and an employee were inside. They were able to escape with no injuries, said Cleveland Fire Chief Ricky Pruitt.
“Upon on arrival, it had almost vented through the roof, so it had evidently been burning for a while,” Pruitt said.
Co-owner Ed Ward arrived at the scene as firefighters were working to extinguish the flames.
“It’s very heartbreaking,” Ward said. “After 27 years of being in business, it’s a tragedy. It’s very sad. I’m just glad everybody got out okay and nobody got hurt. It’s very heartbreaking.”
Cleveland Councilmember Bradley Greene arrived at the scene and commended to the work of the firefighters.
“Our fire department is doing a fine job,” Greene said.
On Monday, Nov. 11, Pruitt said that the cause will be written up as undetermined, but stated that investigator Charlie Bryson felt confident that it was possibly electrical related and started in or around the grill vent.
The fire caused North Main Street in front of the restaurant to be shut down for a couple of hours as firefighters worked to extinguish the flames.
J.W. Reed’s Tavern is located at 318 N Main St, Cleveland. It was previously Ma Gooch’s Restaurant.
This story will be updated with more information as it becomes available.