Satchel’s Pizza opened for the first time today after a
fire destroyed the restaurant’s salvage shop, Lightnin’ Salvage Enterprises, on Monday.
The store opened at 11 a.m. and sold salvageable souvenirs and accepted donations for charred T-shirts and bandannas. Neighboring business, the Repurpose Project, opened their doors to provide additional seating and support.
A fire broke out after 9 p.m. on Monday night at Satchel’s Pizza. Gainesville Fire Rescue arrived and had the fire under control within 10 minutes, but Lightnin’ Salvage was a total loss. The restaurant reopened Friday and customers and volunteers picked through what was left. (Antara Sinha/WUFT News)
Burnt and wet Satchel’s Pizza T-shirts and bandanas lined the outdoor shelves, where customers perused through the racks and could pick them up for free. Though it was thousands of dollars of merchandise, there weren’t facilities to wash all of the clothing and sell them, said Satchel Raye, owner and founder of Satchel’s Pizza (Antara Sinha/WUFT News)
“I want to thank the firefighters who were able to save our building,” said Raye, left. “You’re not fighting for human lives — you’re fighting for property. But it does effect human lives.” (Antara Sinha/WUFT News)
Judy Keathley is daytime manager at Satchel’s Pizza and buyer for the salvage shop. “It didn’t seem real for a while,” said Keathley, of the fire. “I think on some level it still doesn’t.” (Antara Sinha/WUFT News)
The piles of burnt rubble that hasn’t been cleaned up has been barricaded by plastic fencing to prevent injuries. Cleaning through the piles of ash after the fire was like “shoveling snow,” said Raye. (Antara Sinha/WUFT News)
Inside of the restaurant, for customers like Randy Buckner (center) it was business as usual as Satchel’s Pizza contended with its lunch rush. The restaurant will be open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. – it’s usual hours. Satchel’s Pizza will also be open on Sunday this week, for the first time. (Antara Sinha/WUFT News)
Soot-covered bottles of wine sit on the shelves of the salvage shop — “Smoked wine,” Raye joked, which customers could purchase. (Antara Sinha/WUFT News)
Henry, Kerri Audette’s three-year-old son swings on the swingset at the playground next the the restaurant. Audette said they were regulars at Lightnin’ Salvage’s monthly trivia nights, and Henry loved the playground at Lightnin’ Salvage that burnt down on Monday. (Antara Sinha/WUFT News)
Customers went through racks of charred trinkets and knick-knacks, purchasing souvenirs to commemorate and remember Lightnin’ Salvage Enterprises and support Satchel’s Pizza’s rebuilding efforts. (Antara Sinha/WUFT News)
Damian Caraballo purchased a small burnt toy alligator. “I have a one-year-old son who always liked through rummage through the toys in the gift shop so I’m going to bring this back for him,” Caraballo said. (Antara Sinha/WUFT News)
“The donations given for the shirts are just going to go to help recoup the losses that we have had this week and all the product that we’ve lost,” said Raye. Other fundraisers and benefit shows have been set up through community and online efforts for the employees of Lightnin’ Salvage who won’t have their regular jobs after the fire. (Antara Sinha/WUFT News)