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Ted's Garage Restaurant Destroyed by Fire
Ted's Garage was a car-themed restaurant where they served things like pork tenderloins referred to as Fan Blades, and mozzarella sticks called Turn Signals. It was owned by Scott Baum, of Baum Chevrolet next door. He said he found out about the fire when an employee saw it on Facebook.
"So I drove down here and I saw the black smoke coming," Baum said. "It was one of the buildings here at the dealership. It was not the restaurant. So in that building we had some tires, so I was fairly optimistic that we'd be able to contain it."
But as eight fire departments battled the blaze for more than five hours, it swept through the entire restaurant, leaving it a total loss, and damaging and destroying some valuable memorabilia.
"I did have some cars in the back," Baum said. "Of course, we display cars every three weeks at Ted's. So I did have some antique cars back there. We did have a customer's car in the front of the restaurant that we were able to save."
Many of the other items can't be replaced.
"It was history," Baum said. "And it was history of not only Clinton, but also of small business people that have started their own business, and then also the history of the car business. It had a lot of history from our family, as well as Ted, who originally opened the store. There was history with some of the things that he did, when he was a kid."
The customers are already missing it as well.
"The food was really good," Thomas Hord, who ate at the restaurant several times, said. "I wish it was still around. We probably would've eaten here today, as a matter of fact."
"Everybody in Clinton eats here," John Fagin, another customer, said. "A lot of people from the little towns around here to eat. It's just, it's a shame."
Baum said he doesn't know yet whether he's going to rebuild the restaurant, but he promises that the employees will be taken care of.
He plans to meet with them tonight to discuss the future.
Reporting in Clinton, Mike Brooks, ABC NewsChannel 20.