When Blue Water Grill co-owner Jessica Wiggins received a call from her husband, Josh, saying the restaurant was on fire, she first hoped it was an early April Fool's prank.
Unfortunately, he wasn't kidding.
Shortly before dinner service March 28, an electrical fire sparked in the walls of the restaurant and bar, Wiggins said, frying the wiring. By the time the fire was out, the interior of the restaurant was waterlogged and unfit for business.
Wiggins said about 4 p.m., the staff smelled something burning, and Josh took a look. He discovered it was coming from the wall and called the fire company," she said. "They were able to put it out very quickly, but it is such an old building. There's water damage and everything is connected."
Fortunately, there were no injuries, and the fire was discovered in the afternoon. Wiggins said a nighttime fire could have destroyed the entire old city block on Main Street in Millsboro.
In addition to restoring the dining room and kitchen so the Blue Water Grill can re-open, the owners said they must first repair and update the old infrastructure.
Wiggins said she received estimates this process will take anywhere from two to four months and has tried to help her staff find temporary employment until the grill can reopen.
All the food, including an entire shipment they had just received, is a complete loss, Wiggins said. Even the dry goods had to be thrown out after the ceiling came down.
"We had just received enough new food to feed 400 people in the shipment," she said. "There are so many aspects that are out of our control. Right now, it's just sad."
With adequate insurance and the support of her community, including local Rep. John Atkins D-Millsboro, who Wiggins said beat her to the scene of the fire that night, the owner said she is hopeful that the Blue Water Grill will soon be back in business.
Fans and regulars can stay updated by checking the Blue Water Grill page on Facebook, she said, and they will also continue to update information through the Blue Water Grill voicemail box at 302-934-5160.
"Everything happens for a reason, and we will just have an awesome grand re-opening party, whenever that happens," Wiggins said.