BBQ restaurant open just seven weeks before fire

Big Rick's BBQ was damaged after a fire early Friday morning.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) It’s been open for about two months and now the owner of a local BBQ joint is cleaning up after his building caught on fire early Friday morning.

“We had a pop-up tent and a grill and business had really grew and the building here was open and the owner had reached out to me and we communicated and made it work so that I was able to actually go from an outside pop-up outdoor tent to a brick and mortar,” Big Rick’s BBQ owner Rickey Jordan said.

Friday marked Jordan’s seven week anniversary in his new building on East State Boulevard in Fort Wayne.

“We got a call about 1:45 this morning and they said that there was a fire in the building,” Jordan said.

The fire started in the beauty shop next door. Big Rick’s BBQ didn’t catch on fire, but there was some smoke damage and a lot of soot inside. Another business also had heavy smoke damage. The cause of the fire is still unknown. Firefighters said they don’t believe it was criminal.

Luckily, Jordan has insurance. He said crews got to work right away cleaning the inside of his restaurant.

“We’re taking everything out and we’re going to trash it and we’re going to start over from the beginning. It’s just a temporary setback,” Jordan said.

From potatoes to Styrofoam, everything was trashed.

“I’m just glad that my business wasn’t destroyed,” Jordan said.

In just seven weeks the BBQ joint already has some fans. Jordan said despite the fire he was able to deliver food to a catering event this morning, and there’s still a list of people waiting for his food.

“We have quite a bit of catering to do, so that’s why we need to get up and rolling and get these grills out here fired back up so we can just continue offering Fort Wayne good barbecue,” Jordan said.

Jordan said his heart goes out to the other store owners who have a lot more damage to their stores. He hopes to be serving up food from his restaurant sometime over the weekend once crews are done cleaning.

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