Firefighters responded to a fire at Chuck’s Diner on the Hardscratch Road before daylight on Tuesday, Aug. 29.
The call came in around 5:20 a.m., said Platoon Chief Lynn Seeley, who said it was the RCMP who called in the fire.
Seeley described arriving on scene, and the concern of also making sure the fire didn’t spread to Jim Quick Tire Sales and Service located next door to Chuck’s Diner.
“It was fully involved when we arrived on scene. We looked after the exposure and we were able to get the fire out eventually,” he said.
The configuration of the diner did make things a little trickier.
“It was just hard. It used to be a trailer and then it was built on both sides, so it made it a little bit tough,” Seeley said.
Aside from the Yarmouth Fire Department, a mutual aid call went out.
“We brought in Wedgeport, Port Maitland and Lake Vaughn for manpower only, but Port Maitland did come with a tanker,” he said.
The RCMP were also on scene assisting with traffic control and keeping a part of the road closed to traffic. Firefighters left the scene around 9 a.m.
There was no immediate answer Tuesday morning as to how the fire started. As is normal procedure when trying to determine the cause of a fire, Seeley said it would be investigated by the fire marshal’s office, with the cooperation of the RCMP.
On the Chuck’s Diner Facebook page Tuesday, a message to the public and customers was posted.
“Everyone is ok. If you haven't heard yet, Chuck’s Diner has had a fire,” the post read. “The building is gone. We will post more as soon as we can. There is a lot of damage. At this point we don't know what is going on, but as soon as we do we will let everyone know.” In reponse to this post, many people and customers were leaving notes, saying how sad they were over the news of the fire and that they hope the owner will consider rebuilding. They commented on how much they enjoyed eating at the diner, and said the fire was sad news considering how much effort had gone into expanding and operating the property.
According to the Facebook page, the eatery was entering its fall hours and wasn't open on Monday, but would have opened for business on Tuesday at 10 a.m. The establishment's menu boasts a variety of burgers: Stomping Stampede, Sweety Burger, Slaw Burger and TNT Burger, to name a few. It also had a good variety of poutines and a good array of seafood offerings. The venue also served an all-day breakfast, in addition to its other menu offerings. The business had also introduced a buffet a few months ago.
In the years before Chuck's Diner and the extensive renovations that went into converting the business, the property was best known as a location for ice cream take out. It had operated like that for decades, where people had a multitude of hard icecream flavour options.
Earlier this summer a crack at operating a drive-in movie theatre – a new offering for the community – behind this location didn't go as hoped. Despite public enthusiasm in advance of the opening, attendance at movies was too low, and the weather didn't cooperate either. As a result, the Y-Town Drive-in Theatre equipment was put up sale, and was also being made available for rentals.