Residents of communities between Nanaimo and Ladysmith have one less place where they can go out for a meal.
Country Kitchen, located south of Nanaimo in Cassidy at Island Highway and Beck Road, burned to the ground in an early morning fire Monday, May 26.
Firefighters, who were still at the scene at 8 a.m. knocking down hot spots in the smouldering remains of the structure, said the alarm was called in at 2 a.m.
No one was known to be in the building at the time of the fire, and there were no injuries. The cause of the blaze is being investigated, but has not been determined.
According to the Nanaimo RCMP, fire crews from the Cranberry and Cedar fire departments responded to the fire at approximately 2 a.m.
“The building was fully engulfed in flames upon their arrival,” RCMP Const. Gary O’Brien stated in the release. “Crews were able to contain the fire to the restaurant, and no secondary structures were damaged or destroyed.”
The building, which has long been operated as a roadside restaurant — formerly known as the Frog and Puddle and prior to that as the Juniper Café — recently underwent extensive renovations before reopening in late April as the Country Kitchen.
On the restaurant’s Facebook page, owner Kristina Stauffer stated they will rebuild.
The cause of the fire is currently unknown, and the Nanaimo RCMP is asking anyone who has information about this incident to contact the RCMP at 250-754-2345 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com.
—with files from Lindsay Chung