Beloved Florida Panhandle restaurant Red Bar reopens 16 months after tragic fire


GRAYTON BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — A new chapter is being written for the Red Bar over in Grayton Beach, located in the Florida Panhandle.

After a fire completely destroyed the popular spot back in February 2019. They have now rebuilt in the exact same location. After nearly 10 months of hard work and construction, the Red Bar is back open to the public.

Staff said they wanted to rebuild exactly how it was before the fire.

Back in February 2019, most staff couldn’t imagine this day would finally come.

“It was like a nightmare, I thought I was sleeping and I woke up. And no it was true, the place was on fire,” manager Mark Jimenez said.

Customers that have been coming to the Red Bar for years, say you would never know anything ever happened to the beloved restaurant.

“Our family has been coming here for so long, and to have it re-open and have the same feel it’s just one of those things, you walk in and you’re like oh this is the same red bar, you kind of forget that it actually did burn down,” longtime customer Renee Jaquess said.

“We felt like it was just the same as before, you’re coming to a place that is kind of like your second home, and it was just amazing,” customer Connie Dismukes said.

Red Bar staff say they are happy to see customers coming back through their doors.

“It has been just so wonderful, people have been kind enough to respect, with everything going on with COVID, they respected our space and our time. But they’ve also shown us love and support. They are showing up even better than we could’ve hoped for,” said Kyle Petit.

“There’s not a word to describe how happy we are, from all the people who work here, the owners were so happy to finally get back to our groove and do what we do best,” said Jiminez.

“We have people that live here that are sending us stuff to put in the restaurant, we have people that don’t live here sending us stuff to put in the restaurant, like pictures that they took when they were here,” said Petit.

Staff say the only direction they can go from here is up.


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