By David Yarger and Joshua Maloni
A staple of Center Street in the Village of Lewiston endured a tough hit late Tuesday night.
The newer Brickyard Brewing Co., in addition to the iconic Brickyard Pub & BBQ, erupted in flames that resulted in a partial roof collapse.
First responders from Lewiston No. 1 Fire Co., Upper Mountain Fire Co., Youngstown Vol Fire Co., Town of Niagara Active Hose quickly arrived on the scene to help settle the multi-structure commercial fire. The flames continued to erupt into the early morning hours of Wednesday morning.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Lewiston eateries were only offering takeout, so no employees or customers were inside at the time of the fire.
According to @FBNY_WNY on Twitter, at 10:38 p.m. Lewiston Fire Co. No. 1 received a call for a possible structure fire at the location. At 10:42 p.m., the company was on location and at 10:43 p.m. Lewiston No. 1 called Upper Mountain Fire Co. and the Town of Niagara Active Hose for additional help. Additionally, Youngstown Volunteer Fire Co. and Sanborn Fire Co. were at the scene.
For safety purposes, Center and Ridge streets between Fourth and Fifth streets were closed as first responders dealt with the situation.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Lewiston No. 1 posted, “It appears the fire started in the restaurant and extended into the brewery in the back. More info will be posted once it becomes available.
“A benefit page for Brickyard has been set up. https://facebook.com/events/s/brick-by-brick-a-benefit-to-he/534727387416642/?ti=cl.”
Outside, as the blaze grew, a group of Brickyard employees and families gathered around and hugged with visible emotion.
A message posted on the Brickyard Facebook page read, “If 2020 couldn’t be enough of a kick in the balls, tonight we faced our most difficult tragedy ever. A massive fire broke out at BBC and has caused enormous damage. Our sign still remains in our window though ‘LEWISTON STRONG.’ The support of our community already is unbelievable. THANK GOD nobody was in the building when this happened. Thank you to every first responder who helped contain this and we will rebuild and be better than ever! @Brickyard Pub & BBQ”
On Twitter, the BBC page said, “This isn’t the end of us. We will be back. Bigger and better than ever. Thank you for all the love and support. #2020Sucks.”
Additionally, Brewed and Bottled Craft Beer Shop, located just a stones throw away from Brickyard, said on Facebook, "Our love and thoughts go out to our friends and family at the Brickyard Brewing Co. The news of the horrible fire and the loss of their building is being felt across our community. In a time filled with terrible news, this is a massive blow to all of us in Lewiston, NY. We have all of the confidence in the world that you will rise again and stand with you to assist in any way possible."
As of 8 a.m. Wednesday, Center and Ridge streets were reopened.
The BBC opened in late spring of 2017, as the new “crown jewel” of breweries. It was designed by Brickyard owners Ken Bryan and Eric Matthews, GM Steve Matthews, and architect Jim Fittante.
Brickyard just marked its 15th anniversary in February. In terms of patronage, it has been Lewiston’s most popular restaurant – even during the COVID-19 “PAUSE.”
Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce President Jennifer Pauly said, “Just a big, devastating loss to everyone. They were leaders in the restaurants. They kind of helped rally all of the restaurant owners together for different things, and definitely huge supporters of the chamber. We will help however we can, in whatever way that we can.”
This story is still developing and will be updated as more information is released.
PHOTOS BY MARK WILLIAMS JR.:
PHOTOS BY DAVID YARGER:
The brewery roof caved in.
Despite heavy damage, the "Lewiston Strong" sign still stands inside the Brickyard Pub & BBQ.