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Bud's Broiler Rebuilding Kitchen After Fire at City Park Location
by M.D. Dupuy
While many Mid-City establishments enjoyed a spike in business during the Voodoo Experience, a New Orleans institution located adjacent to City Park was forced to close up shop. The Bud’s Broiler at 500 City Park Avenue, which is the original, 24-hour location of the seven restaurants in the city, fell silent over the weekend due to a Friday afternoon kitchen fire. The cause of the fire is yet to be determined and is still under investigation, and no one was harmed in the incident.
Owner Shannon McGuire and employee Wilbert Butler were on site today, waiting for the insurance adjuster. McGuire said the fire happened suddenly and was brought to her attention by a customer.
“They were all inside working. I went to go get some onions, and a customer came inside and said, ‘the back’s on fire,’” explained McGuire.
Adding insult to injury, the fire occurred on the first Friday of Voodoo.
“This is usually our busiest weekend,” McGuire said. “It would have been perfect, but it could have been worse.”
For a building that sustained such damage just days before, Bud’s Broiler is in relatively solid shape. The only area of the building that was damaged is the kitchen, and a large portion of the exterior structure is already upright. McGuire said she plans to rebuild the section with the original oven intact.
“We’ve had the same oven since 1958, people say it’s like a black skillet. You know they say, ‘oh you’re burgers are the best because it’s this old.’”
McGuire said that at the rate repairs have been progressing, the local franchise could reopen in as early as two weeks. However, no one has set an exact date.
“I’d love to pay my employees and have us all get back to work,” said McGuire.
Undoubtedly, patrons and burger lovers are just as anxious as McGuire and Butler to get the 500 City Park Avenue location open again.
“When we saw you go up, Mr. Wilbert goes, ‘There’s another hungry person.’ They keep coming and coming and coming!” McGuire said.
Dead Huey Long, Emma Boyce, Ian Hoch, Sarah Esenwein, Will Dilella, Chris Rinaldi, Lianna Patch, Phil Yiannopoulos, Cate Czarnecki, Jonas Griffin, Jennifer Abbot, Mary Kilpatrick, Elaina Patton, Mike Horst, Devin Bambrick, Katherine McGuire, Norris Ortolano, Joe Shriner
Michael Weber, B.A.
Assistant Managing Editor
B. E. Mintz
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Minced Media, Inc.