Restaurant on Broadway closes after fire

Some want to know how the fire started hours after closing.
An overnight fire at a Broadway restaurant now leaves many confused and owners closing their doors, Sharon Danquah reports.
Published: Jan. 22, 2023 at 10:47 PM CST
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) -After a fire broke out at a restaurant on Broadway on Saturday morning, many are wondering the following:

  • What caused the fire?
  • When will the restaurant reopen?

Merchants, a three-floor restaurant located on the corner of Broadway and 4th Avenue, caught fire, and crews were dispatched at around 4 a.m. on Saturday, according to the Nashville Fire Department.

Now on Saturday, signs were posted on Merchant’s door saying the restaurant would be closed because of damages.

“We all came outside and smoke was just rolling,” said Broadway worker Samantha Stagner. “It was bad.”

Clouds of smoke billowed from the Merchants Restaurant vents.

The fire happened just moments before Stagner said she was leaving Nudies Honky Tonk just inches away from Merchants.

“I’d been there in the back and I smelled something burning like maybe the vents came on,” Stagner said. “Because after a long time you get that burnt smell.”

But this time, it wasn’t the heater.

That’s when Stagner said someone came running in saying the bar next door was on fire.

Stagner and hundreds of others ran outside to see. Shortly after Nashville fire crews rushed to Broadway.

“We were like where did this come from, how did it start?” Stagner said.

Firefighters said the fire started in the restaurant’s kitchen and quickly spread to the vents system and into the building’s walls.

“Nobody was there, and they closed at around 10 or so, so it had been hours and for it to start and eventually be seen is pretty crazy, especially so many hours after being closed,” Stagner said.

The Merchant’s restaurant owners took to Facebook and their front door to let customers know they were dealing with damages forcing them to shut down.

“I’m hoping they’re able to open up soon because the employees, I feel so bad for them,” Stagner said.

Restaurant owners said they are assessing the damages and working towards reopening.