RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Richmond Fire Department responded to reports of a fire at the popular restaurant Croaker’s Spot on Hull Street Road.
Richmond Fire arrived around 11:03 a.m. where crews could see smoke coming from the restaurant’s roof and a fire in the kitchen area.
Officials tell 8News the entire building had to be evacuated because of the smoke that was seen coming from the roof.
Richmond Fire battalion chief David Pulliam said the fire reached the apartments located on the second floor of the building. The residents of those units will be displaced. No word on how many residents were affected by the fire yet.
Two restaurant employees were treated on the scene.
Croaker Spot was in the middle of participating in Richmond Black Restaurant Experience, a week dedicated to supporting Richmond’s Black-owned restaurants, food trucks and local chefs.
Owner Sherita McGowan said the fire it’s a devastating blow.
“It’s hard because this is definitely an opportunity for black-owned businesses to shine,” she said. “We’re hoping that people will understand that these things happen, which I had to understand, and that they’ll still support the black-owned business location that we have in Petersburg.”
McGowan has been with the restaurant for 18 years.
“I was just proud coming in as I did into this business,” she said. “I came in as a host. And to be here and to watch it grow and to grow with it has meant everything to me.”
Andre Cox has been going to Croaker’s Spot for 15 years and said as a successful black-owned business in Richmond, he thinks the restaurant will bounce back.
“With all of this going on, for something like this to happen, you know, it’s hard, it’s devastating,” Cox said. “It’s hard enough getting a black business open, you know, and then you have to deal with something like this,.”
Pulliam told 8News said it would be a while before the restaurant can reopen.
Stay with 8News for updates.