Bungalow Tap House owners devastated: Fire destroys Emily landmark
The Bungalow Tap House in Emily was everything to owners Chris Spindler and Vanessa Bogard. An early morning blaze Wednesday destroyed the landmark restaurant, which was originally built in 1903. By the time the fire was put out, all that was lef...
The Bungalow Tap House in Emily was everything to owners Chris Spindler and Vanessa Bogard.
An early morning blaze Wednesday destroyed the landmark restaurant, which was originally built in 1903. By the time the fire was put out, all that was left of the restaurant was mostly ashes.
The Emily Fire Department was called at 2:45 a.m. to the bar and grill restaurant located among the towering pines on Park Avenue, just off Highway 6. When firefighters arrived flames were coming out of the structure and the roof was beginning to cave in, Emily Fire Chief Kenny Roden said.
Roden said the fire started in the back dining room area and took over most of the restaurant. Firefighters had to fight the flames and smoke from the exterior. Around 40 firefighters from Emily, Crooked Lake, Fifty Lakes, Crosslake and Ideal were on scene to fight the fire.
The fire chief said everything is gone, aside from a small portion of the frame of the building's newer part of the restaurant.
Roden said the restaurant closed around 9-9:30 p.m. Tuesday and, according to staff, everything was fine.
Roden said the cause of the fire is unknown and is being investigated by the State Fire Marshal's Office.
Spindler, in a telephone interview, said he is in "utter disbelief" about the fire. He was at home sleeping when he received calls about the fire and said he ran to the Bungalow as soon as he heard. Spindler said it is sad to see the restaurant gone. He said his customers compliment him daily on how beautiful the building looks.
Spindler, who purchased the restaurant in 2014, said he has been busy working on remodeling the restaurant and he almost finished the bathrooms and the deck and now it is all gone. He said he put new beer lines into the bar, fixed the floors in the cooler and has worked on maintaining the structure to make it look nice.
"We have our busiest two weeks coming up and now it's gone," Spindler said referring to the Fourth of July and Emily Days. "We held on all winter long and those are our biggest selling days."
Bogard, who also a owner, said "The Bungalow was everything to us. We worked everyday and loved it. We cared about our employees and they are a huge part of our family.
"The community support we have received has been overwhelming."
Denise Vukelich, who is a bartender at the Bungalow, said she heard about the fire at 4 a.m. Wednesday, when her husband was going to work and drove by the restaurant.
"He said, 'You better get to the Bungalow it's on fire,'"
Vukelich said seeing the restaurant gone is "very sad for our community." She said the owners have done a lot of work on the restaurant and "It's a shame to see it gone after all their hard work."
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