The owner of a popular South Philadelphia cheesesteak shop says he’ll rebuild it later the iconic eatery burned for hours during a fire this week.
Jim’s Steaks owner Kenneth Silver told NBC10 on Saturday that the city’s Department of Licensing and Inspections does not believe the South Street building is a total loss and that its structural integrity can be preserved.
Jim’s Steaks first opened in 1939 in West Philadelphia, but the South Street location opened in 1976. The South Street building was originally built around 1900. city property documents.
“We’ll definitely be back in ’48, so just give us a break. Check out other great establishments in Philadelphia. There are so many of us. We’re one big family, and we’re one big cheesesteak community,” Silver said, standing outside the restaurant’s boarded-up restaurant.
The eatery at the corner of 4th and South streets caught fire early Friday morning, but it was several hours before it was brought under control as flames swept through the heating and cooling system.
Firefighters responded after someone reported some wires on fire around 9:15 a.m., Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel said. Smoke could be seen from all floors of the four-story building as firefighters knocked out windows.
The floors above the cheesesteak shop were empty and used for storage, Thiel noted. A manager at the restaurant told NBC10 that everyone was able to make it out okay after seeing smoke coming from the air conditioning system.
Firefighters had to proceed cautiously because of the risk that the building was structurally unstable, Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel said, citing an incident in which a firefighter died last month after a building collapsed following another fire.