Fire damages historic Boston building once home to Jacob Wirth Restaurant

The cause and origin of this fire remains under investigation

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A large fire ripped through a historic building Monday night near the Boston Common.

The fire occurred at about 10:45 p.m. on Stuart Street, the Boston Fire Department said. Part of that street remained shut down Tuesday morning as crews remain on scene investigated the four-alarm fire.



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The building was vacant and is under construction.

"We were very fortunate there were no people in there as the building was under construction, but being under construction, there were holes in the floors we had to get the firefighters though, it was too much of a danger to have them in there," said Boston Fire Commissioner Paul Burke.

It was home to the Jacob Wirth Restaurant — an official Boston landmark that had been the city's second oldest continuously operating restaurant since 1868.

"We're heartbroken over the fire that occurred late last evening. We've been working diligently to restore this landmark building, first opened in 1868, to continue the great legacy of Jacob Wirth for future generations," a spokesperson for the Jacob Wirth Realty Trust said in a statement Tuesday.

"I've had lunch and dinner there and after-hours drinks on so many different occasions over the past three decades," said ormer patron Chris Brennan. "It was really a shame to see when it closed."

A fire in an upstairs apartment in 2018 had left the old German beer hall vacant, but in 2023, Royale Entertainment Group had begun construction to reopen the historic venue in August.

"Just yesterday, I happened to be walking by and thinking, 'Oh, I can't wait for it to reopen, and get to enjoy a meal,' you know? Sit down at lunch and here's what happened," said Nano Eliopoulos. "I can't believe it, I'm just really heartbroken to be honest with you."

"We had very good times here and the food was excellent, and you know the drinks were good," said Lawrence Hobley, Jr.

Hobley got emotional seeing the tavern he worked at in the early 1990s so close to being revived now gutted by flames.

"My heart's breaking again," said Hobley. "I'm just remembering all my good friends I worked with and everything, and it's heart-breaking, my heart is broken."

The future of this historic restaurant remains unclear at this time.

Burke says the fire caused about $3 million worth of damage. The cause and origin of this fire remains under investigation.

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