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Popular West Palm Beach restaurant damaged by electrical fire

Owners receiving assistance from community
Fire damage at the 'This Is It Cafe' in West Palm Beach, taken Sept. 13, 2021
Posted at 12:28 PM, Sep 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-13 18:09:05-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A weekend fire has put a popular West Palm Beach restaurant out of business for an extended period of time.

An electrical fire ripped through the kitchen of the "This Is It Cafe" located in the Northwood neighborhood early Sunday morning.

"We were so lucky someone saw the smoke and called the fire department! It could have been so much worse!" a post on their Facebook page said.

Owner John Biederwolf said the flames climbed up a wooden beam in the restaurant.

No one was hurt in the fire, but the business also sustained smoke and water damage. The food prep area is now covered in black ash.

'This Is It Cafe' closed due to fire sign
A closed sign hanging outside the "This Is It Cafe" on Sept. 13, 2021, following a weekend fire.

Biederwolf said he is waiting on an estimate to see how much damage was caused by the fire.

"Fortunately, the fire department got in here quickly, and they managed to contain the worst of the damage," Biederwolf said.

Biederwolf said they want to reopen the restaurant, located at 24th Street and Spruce Avenue, as quickly as possible. They are already receiving help from the community.

"I had two guys in here earlier. They said, 'If you need drywall or you need supplies.' I've had people offer financial assistance," Biederwolf said.

John Biederwolf, 'This Is It Cafe' owner
"This Is It Cafe" owner John Biederwolf discusses the support he has received after a weekend fire at his restaurant.

Two months ago the restaurant was also damaged after a car nearly drove through the front of the business.

"I feel like they have a black cloud flying over them right now. First, they got crashed into, now a fire," said customer Joann Cline.

Despite the setbacks, Biederwolf still considers himself lucky after someone saw the smoke Sunday morning and called for help.

"For all I know, it was just some angel walking along, and the fact that person picked up the phone at 2:30 in the morning and called the fire department ... luck," Biederwolf said.

A GoFundMe page has been established to donate and help the owners with monthly bills and expenditures.