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Historic Boston Building Formerly Home to Jacob Wirth Restaurant Is Destroyed by Fire

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Monday night, a sizable fire tore through a historic building close to Boston Common, causing extensive damage and casting doubt on a treasured aspect of the city’s past.

The Boston incident Department reports that the incident started on Stuart Street at approximately 10:45 p.m. Tuesday morning, a portion of the street is still blocked while authorities look into the four-alarm fire. There were holes in the floors of the structure, which was under construction and unoccupied, which presented additional risks to firemen.

“The building was under construction, so it was a blessing that no one was inside, but it meant there were holes in the floors that the firefighters had to crawl through. Paul Burke, the commissioner of fire services in Boston, stated that having them inside posed an excessive risk.

The second-oldest restaurant in the city to still be in continuous operation since 1868, the Jacob Wirth Restaurant, was originally housed in this building. It is now a Boston landmark. A representative for the Jacob Wirth Realty Trust acknowledged their continued efforts to repair the monument while expressing sadness at the occurrence.

“We’re devastated by the fire that broke out late last night. In order to preserve Jacob Wirth’s incredible legacy for future generations, we have been working hard to restore this historic structure, which first opened its doors in 1868,” the representative stated.

Their grief was shared by former clients and staff as well. Over thirty years as a frequent visitor, Chris Brennan bemoaned the loss. “It was really a shame to see when it closed,” he stated.The restaurant had been closed since an upper apartment fire in 2018, but Royale Entertainment Group started construction in 2023 with plans to reopen in August.

A recent visitor to the location, Nano Eliopoulos, expressed shock. “I was strolling by just yesterday when it occurred to me to think, ‘Oh, I can’t wait for it to reopen, and get to enjoy a meal.'” This is what transpired when you sat down to lunch. To be honest with you, I’m heartbroken and find it hard to believe.”

Early 1990s tavern employee Lawrence Hobley, Jr., was moved to tears to see his happy memories of the establishment destroyed by fire. His words, “My heart’s breaking again,” were heartbreaking. “I’m just remembering all my good friends I worked with and everything, and it’s heartbreaking, my heart is broken.”

Damage from the incident was estimated to be $3 million, and the reason is still being looked into. It’s uncertain what the future holds for this iconic eatery right now.

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