Fire puts steakhouse plans on hold

At the end of February, Chip Kennedy announced plans to open a high-end steakhouse at 2242. S. Sixth St. in the building that previously housed Gallagher’s Steakhouse, most recently known as Charlie R’s Steakhouse. However, a two-alarm fire that broke out late in the evening on Friday, March 13, changed all that.

“That project’s over; the building had extensive damage,” said Kennedy.

Renovations had already been underway for several months, including installation of a glass front overlooking Sixth Street, in anticipation of a spring opening. The original footprint of the restaurant was reduced by 1,500 square feet due to a portion of the property being acquired for the Springfield Rail Improvements Project to consolidate train traffic on the 10th St. corridor.

The new restaurant was slated to occupy the south portion of the building, which has been vacant since Charlie R’s closed three years ago. The middle portion of the building was also vacant and heavily damaged by fire as well.

Firefighters arrived to find heavy smoke and flames coming from the center portion of the building, which later breached the roof and migrated into the two-story building to the south that was planned for the restaurant space. A portion of Sixth Street was closed due to the partial collapse of the front façade.

Kennedy said that location is a total loss, but “we might do something in the future.” However, he has no immediate plans to identify an alternate location for the steakhouse concept.

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