PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Jim’s Steaks is usually packed on a Saturday, but the South Street staple is quiet after a fire on Friday. Now, the focus turns to the structure and what it will take for the sizzle and smells of the grill to return.
CBS3 spoke with the owner of Jim’s Steaks who is very optimistic and said he received some good news.READ MORE: Person Of Interest In Custody Following Stabbing That Left Woman Dead In West Philadelphia, Police Say
Despite all the damage, he tells CBS3 the building does not need to be demolished after the city’s Licenses & Inspections Department inspected the property. They determined the building is still structurally sound after Friday’s fire.
But the two-alarm fire is a major financial blow during the summer and as South Street businesses are still rebounding from the pandemic, and the mass shooting last month.
“We were just really starting to hit our stride and then this happens on a Friday morning,” Silver said.
Jim’s Steaks, the iconic cheesesteak shop at 4th and South Streets, has been on South Street for nearly 50 years, but a fire quickly spread Friday morning.
It took hours to bring the two-alarm fire under control.
After a two-alarm #fire Friday at the iconic Jim’s Steaks on South Street, the owner said he received good news today. The building does not have to be torn down, and is structurally sound. He vows to rebuild. Cause believed to be electrical. No one injured. @CBSPhilly pic.twitter.com/w5iC3N3SYQ
— Ryan Hughes (@HughesCBS3) July 30, 2022
Employees were inside the shop at the time when they say they felt the air get hot and then they saw smoke.
Luckily, no one was injured.
The owner, Ken Silver, says the cause is likely electrical, involving issues with the HVAC system.READ MORE: Phillies Honoring 1980s World Series Championship Team Prior To Sunday's Game Against Nationals
This is a major blow financially during the summer with many tourists in town, but the owner tells CBS3 it could have been a lot worse.
The power has been restored to nearby residents and businesses.
“Thanks to Philadelphia firefighters and everyone else that was involved, our building is structurally sound,” Silver said.
He will rebuild and he is meeting with his adjuster on Monday morning.
And more good news, almost everything from the third and fourth floors did not suffer a lot of damage. Silver told Eyewitness News old pictures of his father, blueprints, and other memorabilia were also saved.
Silver added that autographed pictures of Kobe Bryant and Tony Bennett, who each visited the shop, have some water damage. But he plans to save them and hang the pictures back up once he rebuilds.
The business has become an institution in South Philadelphia. It was the first stop a family made while in town from Saudi Arabia. They visit it each time they’re in the city and took an Uber straight from the airport.
“I don’t think you’ll find any steak sandwich better than Jim’s Steaks in South Philly or anywhere else,” Abdol Dakhin said.MORE NEWS: 2nd Street Festival Bringing Beer Gardens, Food Trucks, And Live Music To Northern Liberties For 1st Time In 2 Years
“It’s a really good spot,” Reema Almalik said. “I mean, it’s obviously very old, it’s a staple in the community. It’s such a loss.”