CLINTON TOWNSHIP, WYOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU)— Reality is setting in this weekend after a fire reduced a local landmark restaurant to rubble.
The fast-moving fire swept through the popular business in Wyoming County Friday afternoon.
There is little left of Gin’s Tavern in the Factoryville area.
It’s a shell of the business which stood for decades.
Saturday Eyewitness News spoke with some of Gin’s loyal customers who expressed how important the restaurant was to the community.
The sight of fire ripping through Gin’s Tavern Friday afternoon was devastating to so many.
It’s been many customers’ favorite bar and restaurant since it opened in the 1950s including Danny Evans.
“Good owners, good food, good prices. they were always nice and kind. Always had good times here,” said Danny Evans from Hop Bottom.
Including Friday afternoon, when Evans stopped there for lunch.
“Me and my dad just left, we were on our way home and the fire truck from Hop Bottom came flying passed us,” says Evans.
Regulars were shocked at how something that stood for nearly seventy years is now destroyed.
“Amazing how quick something can go up it almost looks like it went up in a flash,” adds John Zielinski from Factoryville.
“It’s devastating. I mean, I’ve been here multiple times for dinner and stuff and birthday dinners. I had a 13th birthday here with my friends and family and it’s just sad to see it all gone now,” explained Ethan Dixon from Factoryville.
Others have been loyal customers even longer.
“We used to come up here for the past 30 years. It’s very cozy, quaint and it was just a nice place to eat and you know very entertaining,” continued Zielinski.
“So we used to drive up from Pittston all the time. And then Mark and Sandy took it over and named it Gin’s, it was the smokehouse back then,” says Joe Mullarkey from Pittston.
Those who knew the tavern also knew the owners.
“This is a great place. I mean the owners, Mark, Sandy, their daughter. They’re great people. This is really sad,” added Mullarkey.
Although members of the community grieve the loss of the beloved restaurant and feel for the owners, they are grateful to be part of such a tight-knit community.
Gin’s Tavern regulars and those in the Factoryville area have come together quickly for the cause.
Fleetville Volunteer Fire Company has already planned a benefit for Gin’s Tavern next month.
“We all come together for everybody. we’re a small town community, we help each other when we can,” said Evans.
You can learn more about the benefit to raise money for Gin’s Tavern, by heading to their Facebook page.