Owner of the Sports Attic, Joe Droege, drove up to Brentwood from his home in Farmington when he heard it was on fire, Friday morning.
The 3-alarm blaze burned for almost three hours until it destroyed much of the building. It was out by the time Droege got there.
"It’s unbelievable,” he said. “I’ve never seen anything this bad in my life."
And to make matters worse, "Today is the home opener. We would have made a fortune," he said.
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Droege said as bad as it looks, he hopes to rebuild.
He started out as a silent partner ten years ago, and then bought out his partner to own full interest. That's when his sister, Tirzah, and other family members became involved.
Several in the group assembled on Manchester Road, across from the bar, said they were in the bar Thursday night to watch the Blues game.
Family friend, Jim Beck, spoke for many who couldn't find the words.
“We’ve watched world championships here,” he said. “It’s a family-owned business. It’s a neighborhood bar, that’s all you can really say. It’s just a real bad day.”
He was there last night to watch the St. Louis Blues playoff game, along with manager Kevin Gallagher.
“Kevin and I were the last ones to walk out,” he said. “We locked it up.”
Beck said he’s gone over and over in his head how the fire could have started.
“OK, we checked this; we checked that; we checked everything we check every night,” he said. “By ‘we’ I mean the bar checked everything the bar checks every night.”
“It’s a routine,” he said. “So no, we don’t have any idea.”