ST. CLAIR SHORES (WWJ) – Flames ripped through a popular St. Clair Shores restaurant just weeks before it was set to reopen following a kitchen fire caused extensive damage last fall.
Gilbert’s Lodge on Harper Avenue, just south of 9 Mile Road, went up in flames early Thursday morning.
Alex Bricolas, a sister of restaurant’s owner, said crews spent the last seven months rebuilding the business after a kitchen fire nearly left the building a total loss last October. The blaze caused over $400,000 in damage.
“They were supposed to open within two weeks. We worked very hard. This is very disappointing. This is a landmark and we’re very sad, very sad,” Bricolas told WWJ’s Charlie Langton.
No one was injured, although the restaurant is now heavily damaged. Bricolas said the family will now have to decide whether or not to continue on with the business, which has been a staple in the community for the past five decades.
Investigators are trying to figure out what caused the fire, but have not ruled out arson.
Aside from being a local landmark restaurant, Gilbert’s Lodge is also widely known as the place where rapper Eminem worked in the 90′s while he was recording The Slim Shady LP.
Eminem was notoriously fired from the restaurant in 1996 just days before Christmas and his daughter’s first birthday. He would later tell Rolling Stone: “That was the worst time ever, dog. It was like five days before Christmas, which is Hailie’s birthday. I had, like, $40 to get her something. I wrote [the song] ‘Rock Bottom’ after that.”