Repairs to Tavern on the Hill may take longer than originally expected

A popular Easthampton restaurant is still picking up the pieces after a fire over the weekend caused severe damage.
Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 7:45 PM EDT
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EASTHAMPTON, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - A popular Easthampton restaurant is still picking up the pieces after a fire over the weekend caused severe damage.

Western Massachusetts residents come to Tavern on the Hill in Easthampton to enjoy a meal with a view, but after a recent fire severely damaged their outdoor deck, the restaurant is working to rise up from the ashes and rebuild.

“Most of the damage was to the decks. Unfortunately, now the weather is beautiful. Our deck season is over for the summer,” said Amy Guyette, co-owner of Tavern on the Hill.

Guyette showed us the damage from Friday night’s fire. She originally told Western Mass News that she hoped to reopen in a few weeks, but that doesn’t seem likely.

“At first, we were like ‘Oh, it’s not so bad’ and then as we start looking, it’s pretty bad. I mean, initially with that ‘Oh, maybe month, I’ll be back up and running,’ but it’s gonna be a little longer,” Guyette explained.

Although their deck season has definitely been cut short, we were wondering if the inside would be open a little sooner. Guyette told us they’re still assessing the damage.

“There’s a whole wall that’s missing, so that will need to be replaced. The carpeting is damaged. Luckily, none of the tables or chairs are damaged, but the structure will need to be repaired before we can get people inside.” Guyette added.

Guyette said the fire started right underneath their large smokestack and the fire marshal told her a spark must have landed on the deck and caused it to catch on fire.

Guyette pointed out the old wooden deck has been there since they bought the restaurant in 2005. She told Western Mass News that if they do have to replace the entire deck, they plan to use more fire resistant material, along with possibly adding another smokestack.

“Every six months or every two months, we haven’t figured out a timeframe, take off the old and make sure it’s cleaned,” Guyette noted.

While they’re not sure how much the repairs will cost in total, Guyette said that right now, their main concern is taking care of their employees while the restaurant remains closed.

“We have a really great staff. We don’t want to lose any of them, so we’re sort of trying how to figure out how we can keep them and keep them paid,” Guyette said.