This week, local Ballard businesses are trying to pick up the pieces after sudden disaster struck. On Monday, a 3-alarm blaze ripped through the building at 2318 Market Street and inflicted major damage to several retail operations, including the Puerto Rican restaurant La Isla, a mainstay in the neighborhood for 14 years. The Vietnamese restaurant Pho Big Bowl was also affected, along with Kitchen N Things, Octo Designs and Jewelers, and Supercuts. Nearly two-thirds of Seattle’s active firefighting crew responded to the scene.
PSA: if you live in Ballard and smell smoke, close your windows and doors to avoid smoke exposure. pic.twitter.com/MnJP5czGyD— Seattle Fire Dept. (@SeattleFire) October 7, 2019
Thankfully, from all accounts, it seems that nobody was seriously injured in the fire. Officials have determined that the cause was likely electrical, with property damages around $3 million. Despite that assessment, La Isla has already expressed its determination to bounce back soon.
This difficult setback comes at a time of transition for La Isla. The restaurant — known for its wide range of Latin American cuisine and popular happy hours — recently reopened an outpost in Redmond and rebranded its Ballard spot as La Isla Lounge, focusing more on live music, catering, and some tapas, rather than a full dine-in menu.
It’s still too early to say whether the fire will force the restaurant to reassess its future in Ballard, but the neighborhood seems willing to chip in. A Go Fund Me campaign has been set up by a local group called the Ballard Alliance to help businesses affected by the fire. As of early Tuesday morning, it’s raised more than half of its $25,000 goal.
UPDATED: October 8, 2019, 1:13 p.m.: Information about the cause of the fire and the amount of damage has been added.
- 3-Alarm Fire in Central Ballard Destroys Several Businesses [My Ballard]
- Total Loss From Ballard Fire Estimated $3M, Cause Likely Electrical [My Ballard]
- Fire Department Working to Determine Cause of Ballard Blaze; Fund Set Up for Affected Businesses [Seattle Times]
- Well-Regarded Puerto Rican Restaurant Officially Reopens in Redmond [ESEA]
- All coverage of La Isla [ESEA]