The Red Bar in Grayton Beach, Florida, is a “total loss” following a destructive fire in the early hours of February 13. The South Walton Fire District said in a statement that although crews were able to keep the fire from spreading, “The Red Bar sustained heavy fire damage and is now a total loss. No injuries were reported.”
The cause of the fire will be investigated by the SWFD and the Florida State Fire Marshal’s Ofice. The local fire department said that crews began battling the blaze at around 6 a.m. The famed dive bar is owned by Philipe and Oli Petit, who also own the nearby Louis Louis and Piccolo’s restaurants.
The Panama City News Herald reports that people are advised to avoid the area around the bar until further notice as it is only being made accessible to emergency services vehicle. The bar is located about 30 miles west of Panama City Beach on Hotz Avenue in Grayton Beach.
Local fire marshall Sammy Sanchez told Northwest Florida Daily News that the fire had been largely contained to the bar’s premises and that damage to the surrounding area was limited. The fire department statement said, “SWFD crews were able to contain the fire to the Red Bar and keep it from severely damaging the adjacent structures. Crews battled strong winds and the business fully involved in fire which made it difficult to fight.”
The blurb for the bar on their official website reads, “The Red Bar in Grayton Beach, Florida is the area’s most popular indoor destination. It’s the restaurant & bar which is a must do while in South Walton – the hot spot for great food and live music.” While on their Facebook page, a post indicates that the bar celebrated its 24th birthday on February 4, a little over a week before it was destroyed.
During the filming of the 1998 movie, “The Truman Show,” which took place nearby, Jim Carrey celebrated his birthday party at the Red Bar. In the About section of the website on sentence reads, “Don’t be surprised to spot celebrities here late at night. But please be cool, everybody just wants to chill at The Red Bar.”