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Island Cow owner plans to repair and rebuild

Island Cow
Posted at 5:40 PM, Aug 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-09 14:39:45-04

SANIBEL ISLAND, Fla. — The owner of the Island Cow said they will repair and rebuild after a fire destroyed his business.

"Island Cow is currently closed following a fire that started in our kitchen after we had closed for the evening on Saturday, August 6th. Thankfully, no one was injured, and we are committed to renovating and reopening as quickly as possible. On behalf of our Island Cow family, we want to thank everyone for their ongoing support while we close temporarily for repairs."

Brian & Elke Podlasek

He did not want to go on camera or say too much, but he did say despite the loss he plans to reopen.

The fire happened late Saturday night and even though no one was hurt the community is still reeling about this happening to such a popular Sanibel Island Restaurant.

“When our crews first arrived on scene they actually tried to go inside and directly attack the fire,” said Samantha Quinn with the Sanibel Fire and Rescue.

However, crews were met with flames scorching the inside of the Island Cow. Quinn confirmed that crews were on the scene for about four hours that Saturday night.

"You think is that real or not? It’s a sad day; this is an iconic establishment here on the island,” said Mayor of Sanibel Island Holly Smith the day after the fire.

The Island Cow has been a staple in the Sanibel Community for nearly 20 years. Now yellow tape surrounding the building keeps the Island Cow away from the community it was built to serve.

“The island is closed right now because of the fire damage, it’s not safe for anyone to be in there,” Quinn said. “We all like to go to the Island Cow. It’s a great restaurant, so for something like this to happen, it’s pretty devastating."

On the outside, it doesn't look bad, but on the inside, you can see how the fire gutted the place.

Island Cow Fire

“This is a place where everyone loves to come and enjoy and it was really difficult,” said Mayor Smith.

“We’ve been coming here for 15 years and always enjoy island cow,” said Brooke Grecieu.

This establishment is very popular, many of those who have visited in the past are sharing memories and commenting on Fox 4's Facebook page and the Island Cow's Facebook page to support the owners.

We are still waiting to hear from the Fire Marshal to confirm what caused this fire.