HARKERS ISLAND, NC (WITN) - A restaurant on one Eastern Carolina island may be forced to close down after more than three decades in business.
The Captain’s Choice restaurant on Harkers Island has been deemed a total loss after a weekend fire.
Large sections the restaurant's frame is missing, debris still litters the parking lot, and the entire roof is nearly collapsed in the center.
Harkers Island Fire Chief Chad Mann said Monday they got the fire call at approximately 11 p.m. Friday. He said it took firefighters about 90-minutes to control the fire, but nearly six hours to extinguish it completely.
With the restaurant’s closure, fellow business owners are concerned.
Tollan Wade owns the Sand Bar on the island. He said, "Now with only one restaurant here it's going to be tough because even on a very busy Saturday night both of these restaurants struggled and there's only now 2 on the island instead of 3."
Residents said their options are now further limited on the island and they may have to look farther away for dining places in Morehead City and Beaufort.
"It was always nice to have that restaurant because after a long day on the boat you don't feel like cooking, you just want to go and have somebody feed you without having to worry about cleaning up,” said resident Emma Burroughs.
The owners opened the restaurant in 1986 and it's been a landmark on the island. Some residents said it now feels like a little piece of Harkers Island is missing.
The Carteret County fire marshal’s office is investigating the cause of the fire. The fire marshal said they are waiting on the insurance adjuster and investigator before releasing additional information.