Restaurants come and go so quickly in the Houston-area that if one survives for more than 10 years it's worth celebrating. A lucky few get to celebrate 20 and 30-year anniversaries — thereby earning the honor of saying they've served multiple generations of diners.
Restaurants with 50 or more years of history are practically unheard of, so, when something bad happens to one of these local institutions, it comes as a blow to the community that supports it.
All of which explains the outpouring of support in reaction to the news that Wunsche Bros. Cafe and Saloon in Old Town Spring suffered a fire early Sunday morning. The fire department arrived on the scene around 3:30 a.m. and were able to stop the flames from spreading, but firefighters were unable to save an addition to the 113-year old restaurant.
No one was hurt by the blaze, but the restaurant expects to be closed for at least six weeks.
"I don't know. I'm devastated. A lot of emotions. A lot of lives affected today," manager Beth Vincent tells KHOU. "By the grace of God the original structure has been left intact. There is a lot of smoke and water damage."
The damage is extensive enough that the restaurant has asked for donations to support employees who are currently out of work. It is also looking to replace old pictures that were destroyed. Hopefully the ghost of original owner Charlie Wunsche, who is said to haunt the place, escaped without harm.
No word yet on a what started the fire, but some employees speculate it was an electrical issue.