Cantina Cadillac owner Rod Martin says he expects it’ll be at least nine months before the popular Historic Stockyards watering hole may be able to welcome customers back.
The Fort Worth bar and club, characterized by its collection of memorabilia from country-western music and movies, has been shut down since a fire last month made the building unfit for use.
And while Martin told the Star-Telegram the bar on the first floor of the building is just about ready to reopen at any time, efforts to ensure the structure is sound, get a new roof on it and get all the proper paperwork could take the city and the building’s owners a while.
An Airbnb, which city officials told the Star-Telegram may have been operating as a hotel on the top floor of the building without proper permits, was lost in the fire. Martin said the bar is not associated with the Airbnb.
An official with code compliance could not be reached Thursday afternoon for updates on the status of the structure’s integrity or a timeline for inspections and permits. In an email on Tuesday, a code compliance supervisor said that the building’s owners were still in the process of cleaning out the top floors and city officials would be checking on their progress this week.
The fire around 8:15 p.m. Aug. 5 sent customers and employees scrambling for the exit and was made impossible to fully extinguish for more than four hours while, according to a report from the Fort Worth Fire Department, crews waited on Atmos to shut off a gas line that continuously reignited the blaze.
Atmos has not responded to multiple requests by the Star-Telegram for information on its response to the fire. The fire department had not determined the cause of the fire, according to the report.
The efforts to restore the building have been hampered by rain in North Texas this week, Martin said. While many in the area are thankful for the precipitation after months of dry heat, each rainy day delays efforts to install a new roof.
It also means that restoration crews that worked to dry out the first floor of the building, inundated with thousands of gallons of water as crews worked to extinguish the fire, have to come back and make sure there isn’t any new water damage, Martin said.
Jay Hester, who owns the bar with Martin, told the Star-Telegram the day after the fire that a lot of the irreplaceable memorabilia was damaged not by the fire but by the water and that he wasn’t sure how much of it could be restored.
The bedazzled spur that hangs over the dance floor in place of a disco ball — which Hester said is a real prop from the movie “Rhinestone Cowboy” — seemed to be in good shape, he said. But other decor, like posters and photos signed by celebrities including Willie Nelson and Ty Murray, weren’t looking as good.
Martin said he knows it may take a while. He finds himself bored and unsure what to do on the weekends while the bar isn’t operating, but he’s confident that it will be opening back up eventually.
“It’s just a matter of time,” Martin said. “We’re just dealing with the city and the building owners. They’ve been great — they’re really dedicated to getting the building back open.”