A stubborn fire that smoldered inside the Sunset Cork Room for hours before smoke began seeping from inside and letting everyone know something was terribly wrong.
“I can’t really stand there and look at it,” says owner Nina Martin. “It’s heartbreaking. It’s a passion that’s hard to express and to see it hurt like this is overwhelming.”
Martin couldn’t bring herself to go inside the restaurant where 24 hours earlier firefighters were searching for the flames that had worked their way into the attic. “The kitchen is a total disaster. It looks like there is smoke damage completely throughout. There’s ceiling damage in every room right now.”
Since opening in 2004 she says it’s been a rollercoaster. First, there was Hurricane Ivan, the oil spill, the superflood a couple of years ago and now this. “Do you really want to crawl under the covers? Yes, but it’s not a choice. You just have to get up and face the day and figure out what the next step is.”
As she waits for the insurance adjuster, long-time customers make sure she’s okay and offer any support they can. “My phone has blown up with messaging. It’s been awesome. People care, you know? They’re not just saying hey, what’s going on? People are saying, how are you? What can I do to help you? So, that’s been amazing.”
Martin says The Cork Room will be back, she just doesn’t when that will happen.
There is a GoFundMe account to help with immediate expenses and help five employees who are now without a job. Click on this link if you would like to help. https://www.gofundme.com/2vu3gr5z