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December 17, 2013
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Former Backroom Steakhouse in Peardale burns to ground

The building that housed the former Backroom Steakhouse, an iconic hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Peardale along Colfax Highway, burned to the ground early Tuesday morning.

The fire in the 15000 block of Highway 174 was initially reported just after midnight, but responding firefighters found it fully involved with the roof collapsing, said Peardale-Chicago Park Fire Chief Jim Bierwagen.

“The first calls reported it was fully involved with the windows blowing out,” Bierwagen said. “It was a total loss by the time we got there.”

Firefighters from Ophir Hill, Grass Valley and Nevada City also responded to the blaze, which was contained to the building of origin.

The former steakhouse had been closed for about a year and had been purchased in November by a Sacramento man, Craig Smith. A local couple, Kerri Downing and Josh Orenstein, were planning on remodeling the building and reopening it as a cafe.

The building was vacant at the time of the fire, and the cause is being investigated, Bierwagen said.

Crews were on the scene throughout the afternoon, working to move phone lines that had been down since the fire began.

To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email lkellar@theunion.com or call 530-477-4229.


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The Union Updated Dec 23, 2013 06:25PM Published Dec 19, 2013 01:00PM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.