PROVO – A landmark in Utah County had to stop taking reservations when a fire destroyed the historic Los Hermanos restaurant on Center Street.
Investigators are continuing to look for what sparked the Monday-night fire that burned through the night and into the next day.
Authorities on Tuesday were making sure Los Hermanos was safe before investigators could enter the basement area and attempt to discover what started the blaze.
Restaurant owner Craig Witham said he’s still in a little bit of shock.
“Someone called us and we packed up and ran over here,” he said. “Smoke (was) coming out like crazy.”
Luckily, no one was inside the restaurant; Los Hermanos had been closed for the day for flooring work
Despite the restaurant’s loss, longtime customers said the memories made there will last forever.
“We’ve been coming here for since before we were married,” said Provo resident Teresa Henrie, who will be celebrating 17 years of marriage with her husband, Brian, this week. “We were planning on coming for our anniversary on Friday, so we’re very sad.”
Both Brian and Teresa attended Brigham Young University, and they spent much of their time at Los Hermanos.
“(During the) early years of marriage, we were here once a week,” Brian Henrie said. “Kids slowed that down a bit, but we still came as often as we could.”
They weren’t the only folks who stopped by Tuesday to mourn the restaurant’s destruction. In the meantime, some customers will be making the trek to Lindon, where Los Hermanos has another location at 395 N. State.
“I hope they can find somewhere temporarily while they rebuild, and (I) hope they keep it going,” Brian Henrie said. “We’ll be going to Lindon until they do.”
“We’re just pretty much overwhelmed with how many people have come and expressed love and told us they’ll help us,” Witham said. "It’s really been great and eyeopening.”
“We didn’t know we had so many friends,” he added with a laugh.
Witham said he and the building owner have insurance. A GoFundMe* has been set up to help in the meantime.
As of noon Tuesday, Center Street in front of the restaurant remained closed. In a tweet, Provo City wrote that businesses and restaurants between 63 East and Center Street are open and would love to have some business.
*KSL.com does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.