Popular Sanibel restaurant severely damaged in fire; owners plan to rebuild

Fierce flames erupted at a popular Florida restaurant.

A Sanibel island staple, The Island Cow, was consumed by flames late Saturday.

Hank Shaudys, a contractor who helped build the place two decades ago, said the restaurant was enjoyed by many people.

“[It’s] like a monument on the island,” said Shaudys. “Everybody would go here, the locals, everybody.”

In fact, neighbors said the live music was in full force at the yellow and blue building.

Staffers at the restaurant said a fire started in the kitchen overnight and was extinguished. Hours later the fire rekindled again.

Shaudys got the news Sunday morning.

“My one worker that worked with me on this, he gave me a call this morning and told me The Cow burned down,” said Shaudys. “I was like, ‘oh no, I got to go take a look at that.’ So — but it’s not completely burned down but it’s heavily damaged.”

The inside appears gutted as the outside was surrounded by caution tape with the colorful Adirondack chairs still intact.

“We come here all the time,” said a regular customer. “It’s one of our favorite places to go. It’s always usually crowded.”

The owners hoped it will regain popularity once they rebuild their business.

No injuries were reported.

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