June 01, 2020
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Cause of Friday’s fire in Brewer accidental, city official says

Judy Harrison | BDN
Judy Harrison | BDN
The future home of barbecue restaurant Whiskey River Smokehouse at 95 South Main St., was heavily damaged Friday night by a fire.

The cause of a fire that heavily damaged a restaurant under construction in Brewer was determined to be accidental, according to Brewer Public Safety Director Jason Moffitt.

The fire started late Friday afternoon at 95 South Main St. by construction workers at the future home of Whiskey River Smokehouse, Moffitt said Saturday morning.

No one was injured.

A steady stream of cars on Saturday morning pulled into the parking lot of Save A Lot next door so drivers could check out damage. Metal ductwork protruded from the burned out roof. The shell of the building remained.

The owner Thomas Shanos said early Saturday afternoon that he was uncertain if he would be able to salvage the building.

“The engineers will be in next week to determine if it can be rebuilt or if it will have to be torn down,” he said. “Until I get their assessment, I don’t know how we’ll proceed.”

Shanos was out of state when he learned of the fire Friday. He expected to return to Maine on Saturday.

The building was insured, he said.

Shanos, who also co-owns Kostas Restaurant & Bar and High Tide Restaurant in Brewer, announced in early October on Facebook that he planned to open a barbecue restaurant in the former B&L Auto Parts store.

Judy Harrison | BDN
Judy Harrison | BDN
A steady stream of cars, including the red one in the background, pulled into the Save A Lot parking lot Saturday morning to see the fire ravaged building that was to house the Whiskey River Smokehouse at 95 South Main St. The cause of the fire was determined to be accidental.

Shanos had planned to open Whiskey River Smokehouse late this year or early next year.

Firefighters from Brewer, Bangor, Holden, Orrington and Eddington responded. The blaze shot up through the roof of the building, with flames visible from the Bangor Waterfront.

South Main Street, also known as Route 15, was shut down for much of the evening commute.


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