The Little Lion at 243 Chestnut Street will be closed for two months following the four-alarm fire that hit an apartment building in Old City last weekend. The fire destroyed the building at 239 Chestnut Street and affected several neighboring bars and restaurants.
The Little Lion owners Chris Younge and Jason Dills said Friday that the multi-level Southern restaurant will stay closed for at least a couple months. They haven’t yet been able to get back inside the building to fully assess the damage. They do know that there is “significant water damage to at least one if not both of the kitchens, the mezzanine and the basement level.”
In a statement, Younge and Dills said:
The Little Lion was affected by the four alarm fire in Old City in the neighboring buildings to us on the Chestnut Street side of our restaurant. Our hearts go out to the numerous neighbors, tenants and visitors that were displaced, as well as to the owners of the pets that lost their lives in the fire.
While the fire itself was in the neighboring buildings, The Little Lion is greatly affected as we share a common wall and various elements of the building with the buildings that contained the fire.
As of this week, The Little Lion will be temporarily closed for an estimate of at least two months. We have not been formally allowed inside the restaurant to access the damage, begin drying out and making repairs. The last information we have is that the buildings near us are also still in a collapse zone.
The owners are helping more than 80 employees find temporary jobs at other bars and restaurants.
The Little Lion opened in January 2016 in a historic building that previously housed Haru.
Gina’s 45, a new bar at 45 S. 3rd Street (formerly the Irish Pol), was also damaged in the fire.