‘Hoping to rebuild’
Kiss BBQ seeks support after blaze
WESTFIELD — The owners of the destroyed Kiss BBQ restaurant are hoping the community will help them rebuild their restaurant.
Around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, fire crews from Westfield and Portland responded to the blaze at 7454 Route 20. The Chautauqua County Fire Investigation team conducted an investigation, which revealed that a grease fire had started in the exhaust ductwork and spread to combustibles in the attic.
The restaurant had been closed for renovations but was planning to reopen Thursday. There were no injuries reported during the fire. The fire was ruled accidental in nature.
Ryan Marsh, owner of Kiss BBQ made a GoFundMe page, asking for donations. Marsh explained that the fire completely destroyed the building and they are unable to use any part of it. “We do not believe our insurance is going to cover damages, much to our dismay,” Marsh said. “We are hoping to rebuild or relocate and be up and running to provide our community with the food you have grown to know and love.”
As of 5 p.m. on Wednesday, the GoFundMe raised $2,030, out of a $30,000 goal. This money came from 19 donors, one being Edward Jen. Jen donated $200, explaining that it has been a family favorite of his for years. “It’s run by a team that really cares about its craft, including each and every one of its customers,” Jen said. “We don’t want to miss you any longer than we have to!”
Earlier, right after the fire, the restaurant’s Facebook page shared this post: “It is with extreme sadness that I write this to say the BBQ burned to the ground today around noon just as we were putting the finishing touches of paint on the front door and cooking food to reopen tomorrow. Everyone is OK. The building is a total loss.”