WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - "It's just sad to see sad to see such an icon in our community just burn, like it has," one resident, John Lomax said.
Hours of work by fire crews weren't enough to save the iconic Red Bar in Grayton Beach.
The Red Bar has been much more than just a restaurant; it's an icon for the entire community. Locals and visitors from all over have been coming to this spot for years.
"I was on the streets in Chicago several years ago with a Red Bar t-shirt on and was stopped numerous times by people telling me they knew where it was," Walton County Commissioner Tony Anderson said.
It was known for its character, from live music to great food and a unique environment.
"This building has been a part of my life since I was six years old. My daughter works here, my friends own it. So, it's a really sad day in my life and a really sad day in Walton County's life," Anderson said.
Many people called the restaurant the most popular indoor destination in the area, but for now, it's gone.
"People came to Grayton Beach for the Red Bar for 25 years and that is a fact. But I know that the Red Bar, knowing the Petit family and in particular my father, we will rebuild," the Red Bar owner's son, Rosario Petit said.
The community is heartbroken, but many are choosing to focus on the future.
"It is absolutely devastating to me, but it will rise from the ashes and be the Red Bar again," Anderson said.
In the meantime, restaurant staff and the community will hold on to years of memories.