A fire Tuesday morning at Shoal Creek Saloon was intentionally set, according to a spokesperson for the Austin Fire Department. No arrests have been made yet, according to Shoal Creek owner Ray Canfield, but the restaurant does have security camera footage of a possible suspect. The AFD spokesperson said the department is still assessing the fire and its damage to the saloon’s waterfront deck.
Austin firefighters were on the scene at 909 N. Lamar Blvd. before 8 a.m. working the fire to prevent it from entering the restaurant, according to Tweets from the Austin Fire Department. Videos show that the metal support beams surrounding the patio remained in place after the fire.
This is the first time Shoal Creek has been the victim of a fire, according to Canfield, who opened the popular bar and restaurant in 1993. Canfield said that the restaurant’s patio was “a mess” and that he had reached out to a clean-up team. The bathroom lights were not functioning at the restaurant as of 10:45 a.m. Tuesday, but Canfield said they hoped to have the restaurant open by 5 p.m. for dinner service.
The New Orleans-inspired restaurant and bar is no stranger to disaster. Flood waters from the creek have threatened and damaged the building multiple times over the decades, including in 2015 and again in 2016, when water rose several feet inside the restaurant and tore away concrete from the parking lot that sits steps from the usually gentle creek.
From 2016:Austin businesses on Lamar Blvd. cleaning up after flooding
Shoal Creek is known for its massive New Orleans Saints helmet created by late Austin artist Bob “Daddy-O” Wade that sits atop the restaurant’s roof, Cajun-inspired dishes, cold beer, friendly service and the expansive back patio.
This story has been updated to identify the suspected cause of fire. This is a developing story.