Owner of southwest Atlanta Jamaican restaurant says it will operate out of its food truck after fire

ATLANTA — The owner of a popular Jamaican restaurant told Channel 2 Action News they plan to rebuild after their southwest Atlanta business caught on fire Saturday morning.

“I saw it when it was actually on fire right down the street over there,” Elcarbrel Lee told Channel 2′s Elizabeth Rawlins.

According to the chef at the restaurant, the accidental fire started in their smoke shack shortly before noon. He said they were in the middle of grilling food for the day when the fire started and got out of hand.

[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]

By the time firefighters put out the flames, the restaurant was in ruins.

“I was actually on the grill in the area when the fire took over,” Jay John with Dat Fire Jerk Chicken said. “And my first priority was to make sure everyone was safe.”

The owner stayed on site all day to console and comfort restaurant regulars who will now be craving the iconic Jamaican cuisine until they can reopen.

“We will rebuild and we will rebuild better,” John said. “We love you guys, thank you.”


It is heartbreaking for the founder and owner who established what has become a well-known Atlanta favorite restaurant nine years ago.

It’s unclear how long it will take to reopen.

John released a full statement later on Sunday, and said that they will be operating its food truck featuring a limited menu in the parking lot of the restaurant on Monday, April 22 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“Yesterday, the unthinkable happened. Our flagship restaurant suffered significant damage due to an accidental fire. Fortunately, thanks to the swift action of our staff and emergency services, no one was hurt in the incident, but the devastation of a thriving dream burned down to piles of ash and rubble, is a painful reality that we are left to face. However, despite a situation that, under most circumstances, would break us, our spirit remains unbroken, and we are up for the challenge of rebuilding the dream, fueled by the support and love we continue to receive from the Atlanta Community.

We are hopeful and committed to rebuilding and reopening the restaurant as swiftly as possible. In the meantime, we will continue serving the Atlanta community through our food truck, which launched last year. The food truck is fully operational and remains available for private bookings, but will also follow a public schedule that we will announce soon on our website and social media platforms.

This is a very unfortunate incident, but what gives us joy in this moment is the love and support shown to us from our loyal customers and the community. From the moment our story hit the news to now, people have been asking how they can help us during this critical phase, so we have launched the #DatFireWillRiseAgain campaign, which is hosted through a GoFundMe page we set up to facilitate donations towards our rebuilding efforts. Through that page, the community can learn more about the key areas for our fundraising, find out details on how and where we will serve up our delicious menu, and make donations to help sustain our business and employees as we restore Dat Fire to its former glory, and perhaps making it even better!”

The owner said in a statement that they are declaring #DatFireWillRiseAgain. If you’d like to contribute to the cause, click here.

[SIGN UP: WSB-TV Daily Headlines Newsletter]


Comments on this article