Fire decimates outside of City Grille across Colfax from the State Capitol

The fire department sent out K9s to smell for any chemicals that might have fueled the fire.

City Grille's patio burned down some time between sundown on June 4 and sunup on June 5, 2020. North Capitol Hill, June 5, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

City Grille's patio burned down some time between sundown on June 4 and sunup on June 5, 2020. North Capitol Hill, June 5, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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Early this morning, a fire broke out at City Grille, a popular restaurant across the street from the State Capitol.

There were no injuries, and the fire was mostly contained to the exterior of the restaurant, said Denver Fire Department spokesperson Greg Pixley.

“The fire was basically around the patio area, and there was very little impingement or involvement of the interior of the structure,” he said. “It does seem unique to have a fire outside.”

Largely peaceful protests against racism and police brutality have happened near the Capitol every day since May 28. There has been some property damage downtown, but Pixley said it is unclear whether the fire at City Grille is related.

City Grille owner Nancy Brady surveys the damage done by a fire inside her North Capitol Hill restaurant. June 5, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

City Grille owner Nancy Brady surveys the damage done by a fire inside her North Capitol Hill restaurant. June 5, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

City Grille owner Helen Patterson reacts after a fire destoryed the patio outside her North Capitol Hill restaurant. June 5, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

City Grille owner Helen Patterson reacts after a fire destoryed the patio outside her North Capitol Hill restaurant. June 5, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Nancy Brady, a longtime employee who bought City Grille about 6 years ago with her sister, Helen, said the patio had been roped off to prevent people from sleeping in it. Brady said they have “franchised” the restaurant to the owner of the pizza shop next door.

Pixley said dogs sniffed the area for any chemicals that might have fueled the flames, like gasoline. “It’s too early to tell what the actual cause is until we get results from the lab,” he said.

Kevin J. Beaty contributed to this report. Full disclosure: Kevin used to work at City Grille. 

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