SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (WGGB)– Now there’s only rubble left of Brunelle’s restaurant in South Hadley. Authorities spent Saturday picking it apart, still searching for the cause of the fire that ripped through it early Friday morning. “We’re trying to make the building safe, there are some areas there that are structurally unsound, and so, that’s why you see the equipment there. Once we’re able to move this stuff out of the way we’ll be able to get to the seat of where the heaviest damage is,” said South Hadley Fire Chief Robert Authier.
Fortunately, there were no injuries. In fact, employees were even able save every golf cart and tractor stored next to the restaurant.
Still volunteers watched as the landmark, which had been standing since 1977, is torn down.
However, full parking lots signal that families filing in one by one to take a ride on the river. “It’s a dedication to this place. They’re so easy to get along with and very helpful,” Richard Walsh said.
They also posted the following on their Facebook page:
“Good morning friends! We are down but not out! Ramps are OPEN! Docks are OPEN! – with power and water. (At this time we do not have gas available.) Phones are still down at the moment. The Lady Bea cruises WILL run as scheduled! We WILL be running a limited cookout menu under our event tent beginning around noon! Watch this page for updates and please share with friends”
Just because the restaurant is gone, doesn’t mean folks can’t eat. Underneath two tents, staff is grilling, and selling liquor for folks who are still coming to enjoy the marina. “The restaurant was part of an original snack bar. That’s what we started with, that’s what we’re back to. This snack bar was hamburger and hot dogs, and now back to the roots. Here we go,” smiled owner Luke Brunelle.
Brunelle adds that people from other area marinas have reached out to him asking if he needed help or tools which will come in handy, since he’s looking to rebuild as soon as the investigation ends.