It was a sad Monday afternoon on Washington Avenue, as members of the Houston Fire Department (HFD) put out a major blaze that effectively destroyed one of the city's most noted Belgian outposts, the Broken Spoke Cafe.
The fire started around 3 p.m. at 1807 Washington in a vacant wooden home that sat directly next to the restaurant, which was almost completely gutted. A third building to the west of Broken Spoke, suffered heat and smoke damage.
"We were talking about a remodel," the owner said as he watched firefighter s secure the scene. "We were bouncing around ideas and trying to renegotiate with the building owner."
The cause of the fire remains unknown — and will until investigators can analyze the wreckage. There were no reported injuries, according to the Houston Fire Department.
The Broken Spoke closed its doors in August when Catherine Duwez — one of the two original owners — left the restaurant to open Cafe Brussels in the former Dharma Cafe space. In the meantime, co-owner Roy de la Garza was trying to map out a new plan the old Washington space.
"We were talking about a remodel," Garza told CultureMap as he watched firefighters secure the scene. "We were bouncing around ideas and trying to renegotiate with the building owner."
Ruy Lozano, a public information officer with HFD, said the old home where the blaze started was completely vacant and had no utilities.
“We were dispatched at 3:02 and had the first units arrive by 3:04,” he said. “It was an amazing turnaround.”
Unfortunately for the Broken Spoke, it was too late.