On Thursday night, Lincoln City's iconic Otis Cafe went up in smoke.
North Lincoln Fire and Rescue responded to the fire just before 8 pm on July 4. An investigation is currently underway to determine the cause.
There were no injuries, but owner Jeff England tells WW the damage appears to be a total loss, and the historic cafe will likely have to be demolished.
"It's not just my family and my employees, it's a whole community that's broken and hurt," England says.
The small, homey diner has long been a Lincoln City institution (though it's technically located in the town of Otis) and an Oregon Coast landmark. A 1989 review in the New York Times claimed that the greasy spoon packs "more calories per square inch than any restaurant in the Northwest," and called its white cheddar hash browns "legendary."
The cafe is still in the early stages of assessing the damage and working with its insurance company, but England says that at the moment, he plans to rebuild. A former employee has already launched a crowdfunding campaign for the repairs.
"We all will learn and grow as we pull together and work together to bring the Otis Cafe back," says England. "Will it be as quaint as the 1920s building that we very possibly have lost? It's hard to recreate that."