Grease Fire: Cleveland landmark goes up in flames

Grease Fire: Cleveland landmark goes up in flames
Steve's Lunch on fire (Source: WOIO)
Steve's Lunch on fire (Source: WOIO)

A popular eatery went up in flames at Lorain and West 50


on St. Patrick's Day. The fire quickly spread, destroying a historic spot known for lunch and late night.

Steve's Lunch was a Cleveland institution known for its hot dogs. It had been in business for more than 60 years, but it was all gone in about an hour.

"It was a little grease fire that got out of control in there. We couldn't -- It was just too much. We had to get out of there," said employee Angel Gonzalez.

Gonzalez described the scene inside when the fire started around 5:30 Tuesday. Flames sent employees and nearby residents scrambling for cover.

"It was pretty scary for sure," said Justin Parham.

Steve's opened in 1953 and its storefront was used in the opening of the Drew Carey Show. Even firefighters on the scene knew about the restaurant's history. 

"Been here a long time. We've probably all heard of Steve's Hot Dogs. I know I've had a few in my day," said Fire Chief Pat Kelly.

"I've been there a lot. The food's always good. It's a Cleveland institution," said customer Joe Battaglia.

The fire was fully involved when Cleveland firefighters arrived. There was nothing to salvage. They just tried to keep it from spreading to surrounding buildings.

"Sixty years they've been running and everyone comes here. We knew the whole crew. We've been everyday customers there. It's very unfortunate, very tragic for sure," said Parham.

Steve's rarely closed. The day after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated was one of the few times it did not open its doors.

Cleveland fire officials say no one was injured in the fire.

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