While other bars in Clifton and Northside were cleaning up after post-inauguration celebrations, employees and patrons of Fries Cafe, one of Clifton's historic neighborhood bars, were fleeing a fire. Employees noticed smoke billowing out of the upstairs portion of the bar as they were getting ready to leave around 2:30 a.m. It is believed the fire started in the back portion of the second floor by the women's restroom, but the cause is still under investigation. Patrons and employees left the building and immediately called 911. Firefighters arrived a very short time later, according to one employee, and got the fire under control. The damage is contained to the second floor and will not keep Fries from opening at 4 p.m. today. No one was hurt. Damage estimates have been reported to be around $20,000.
The building that Fries inhabits is over 100 years old and used to be a Krogers grocery store. The Fries family established the cafe in 1930s. Read a full history of Fries Cafe here or check out their beer list.