Community to discuss 50th & Bryant fire

A community discussion about a fire that destroyed five businesses last week at the corner of 50th & Bryant is set for Feb. 25, from 4-8 p.m. at Kasia Organic Salon, a new business across from the fire site.

Popular Southwest restaurants Heidi’s and Blackbird Café, as well as boutiques Patina, Shoppe Local and Stacey Johnson Jewelry Design were all lost in the Feb. 18 blaze, which started as a grease fire in Heidi’s and took fire crews an entire afternoon to extinguish.

Kasia Organic Salon’s grand opening was set for Feb. 25, but owner Kassie Kuehl decided after the fire that a community meeting about the incident would be a better idea to help answer questions and begin the long process of moving forward. The Lynnhurst Neighborhood Association (LYNAS) is helping to organize the meeting along with City Council Member Betsy Hodges.

The goal, said LYNAS president Christopher Dark, is to show support for the business owners affected by the fire, discuss the loss and create momentum for a rebuild at the site.

City staff is expected to be at the meeting, as well as representatives from the Nicollet East Harriet Business Association (NEHBA), which has discussed including the node within its boundaries. Owners of the burnt businesses were also invited. 

“The offer has been extended, so they can show up and be there to essentially let the people tell them how much we appreciate their businesses there and how much we want them back,” Dark said. “And I think that that kind of thing is something that they may just need to hear and know that we have so much community support for them.”