The two-alarm fire today that ripped through a pair of Georgetown restaurants owned by Jonathan Umbel apparently was kinder to Tackle Box than it was to Hook. The seafood restaurant suffered “significant damage,” Umbel told All We Can Eat, including the roof over the pastry and dish areas, which are now “open to the heavens.”
Umbel said that because the buildings in Georgetown are so old and clumped so close together, firefighters must work quickly to make sure a blaze doesn’t spread to surrounding businesses. Which meant that they took their axes to the walls to take away fuel for the fire.
“The restaurant looks like someone came in and vandalized it,” said Umbel, noting there was a lot of water and damage in the main dining room. There is yet no official cause of the afternoon blaze.
Hook, he noted, “will probably be shut down for months.”
The good news, if you can call it that, is that Tackle Box, Umbel’s casual seaside shack next door, didn’t suffer as much damage. The owner said the roof by the rear of the restaurant was damaged.
“I’m guessing that Tackle Box will open...much quicker than Hook,” Umbel said. “I’m hoping within the month.”
Umbel said that he has “solid insurance,” but doesn’t know yet whether it will cover all 20 of the people he employs in Georgetown. In the meantime, Umbel plans to transfer about half of them to his new Tackle Box location in Cleveland Park.
“We’re just really happy that none of the employees and none of the guests and none of the fire department were hurt,” Umbel said.
Umbel says he has every intention of reopening in Georgetown. “We’re resilient,” he said. “We plan to rebuild.”
It’s the second major blaze in a week for a Washington restaurant. The Tune Inn lost its kitchen last week and is closed after a morning fire.