Sidelines loses kitchen in weekend fire

A fire claimed the entire kitchen at Sidelines Sports Bar and Grill in Cambridge on Saturday afternoon, June 9.

Sidelines owner Ron Nelson said the fire was reported around 2 p.m. and he arrived at the restaurant shortly thereafter.

Sidelines Sports Bar & Grill, located on 2nd Ave SE in Cambridge, will be opening daily at 3 p.m. due to the loss of its kitchen in a fire on Saturday, June 9. Photo by Elizabeth Sias

Nelson explained the fire started in the roof and worked its way to the kitchen. The rest of the bar was not damaged. No one was hurt and restaurant patrons were evacuated safely.

Sidelines will be temporarily opening its doors at 3 p.m. and the kitchen will be closed. However, pizzas and smaller items will be served.

Nelson said insurance adjusters arrived on scene this week and he hopes to get the process moving forward as quickly as possible to get the kitchen re-opened.

Nelson, who has been owner of Sidelines for 12 years, gave much credit to the emergency responders on scene.

“The fire department was amazing and the support from the community has been great,” Nelson said. “Due to the support we were able to open our doors up at 6 p.m. that same evening. I got a call from Cambridge City Administrator Lynda Woulfe, Cambridge Bar & Grill owner Loren Davis, and the Legion all checking on us and offering help and support.”

Cambridge Fire Chief Sean Okerlund explained two engines, along with four other apparatuses, and 19 firefighters were on scene.

Upon his arrival, Chief Okerlund said there were 3-to 4-foot flames coming from a roof exhaust fan above the Sideline’s kitchen area.

He explained he sent an interior crew to the kitchen area and a crew to the roof to gain access to the vent. The fire was extinguished and contained to the exhaust system ducting area from the kitchen.

Chief Okerlund said the department had the fire controlled by 2:20 p.m. and it cleared the scene at 4:30 p.m. Sidelines was allowed to re-open that evening after an inspection from the city of Cambridge building inspector.

“Cambridge Fire Department would like to thank the Isanti County dispatchers along with Isanti County Safety and Rescue for their quick response in providing us traffic control and firefighter rehab along with the Cambridge Police Department officers and the Isanti County Sheriff’s deputies that assisted,” Chief Okerlund said.

Sidelines Sports Bar & Grill is located at 138 2nd Ave. SE, Cambridge, and can be reached at 763-689-9620.

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