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Houston’s Historic Cleburne Cafeteria Destroyed in Devastating Fire

Screengrab via YouTube

One of Houston’s oldest and most beloved restaurants is in ruins after an intense fire engulfed the building.

Cleburne Cafeteria was destroyed in the early hours of April 26 due to intense flames that took 50 firefighters to control. According to Click2Houston, no individuals were inside the building at the time of the fire. Click below to see aerial footage of the aftermath.

It’s a heartbreaking event for Houstonians who have been visiting the establishment since it first opened its doors in 1941. The restaurant founder’s son, George Mickelis, says he’s most upset about the loss of paintings created by his father.

“I’m heartbroken. You know, my dad painted every painting on the wall of the cafeteria and that’s all I got left of my father and that is kind of our family legacy, obviously serving good food. It’s our 75th year in business and it’s devastating,” Mickelis told ABC13.

Founder Nick Mickelis came from Greece with only $2.50 in his pocket and the dream of starting his own business. After opening the Cleburne Cafeteria, the business became a local institution and their family’s entire life.

“My mom and I still work here every day. My mom is 93 years old. My dad worked here until the day he died,” George Mickelis says.

It’s still unknown if the family plans to rebuild the restaurant, but it’s clear that the Cleburne Cafeteria won’t soon be forgotten.

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Houston’s Historic Cleburne Cafeteria Destroyed in Devastating Fire