Jackie O’s Pub & Brewery is still assessing the damage to its restaurant after a major fire that swept through several buildings on Union Street in Athens early Sunday morning.
The Public House, the restaurant side of the operation, sustained heavy water and smoke damage and remains closed for the foreseeable future, brewer Brad Clark said Monday afternoon.
The good news for Jackie O's — if there can be any good news related to a fire that injured people and displaced workers — is that the brewery side of the business was untouched by the blaze. The brewpub side will reopen as soon as it can, Clark said.
The Jackie O’s Public House shares a wall with the Union Bar & Grill building, which was severely damaged. The Jackie O’s kitchen also is housed on the first floor of that building.
“Depending on the status of the building, which will likely be condemned, we’re not sure where that leaves our kitchen,” Clark said.
Jackie O’s — which also operates a production brewery and tasting room at a separate location — employs more than 40 workers who are now out of a job. The brewery is promoting a new fund set up to help the displaced workers at its business and others. The Union Street Fire: Employee Relief fund had more than $9,600 pledged as of early Monday afternoon. For details or to donate, click here.
Jackie O’s will celebrate its ninth anniversary on Dec. 6 and there is a big party and bottle release planned. So far, the party is still a go. But Clark admitted that could change as soon as they are able to get into the Public House and assess the damage.
“We’ll know a little bit more when we get in that space and we’ll go from there,” he said. “We’re crossing our fingers.”