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Fire strikes historic Otis Cafe on Independence Day

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Jeff English Otis Cafe
Otis Cafe owner Jeff England describes feeling “numb” after witnessing his iconic restaurant burn Thursday, July 4 (Photos by Gary Fromm)

North Lincoln Fire & Rescue units swarmed the Otis Cafe shortly before 8 p.m. Thursday to combat a fully involved fire at the iconic restaurant.

Otis Cafe Burning

“It’s really bad and there’s smoke pouring all over the place,” Otis Pizzeria owner Gary Fromm said as he watched the scene unfold. “I’m just glad nobody was hurt.”

“I am numb,” Otis Cafe owner Jeff England said. “That’s the only thing I can say to describe where I’m at right now. I’ve got many community members surrounding me and I’m numb that I can’t open tomorrow.”

Otis Cafe Gutted

“This is so disappointing because we were all geared up for a big weekend,” England said. “The fire department is investigating and we will be doing our own investigation.”

NLFR responded with the bulk of their assets and put out the blaze that nearly gutted the inside of the nationally renowned restaurant.

“It’s fairly gutted. It’s not pretty. Hopefully we can get it up and running as soon as possible,” he said.

“One of the guys from the cafe said he saw flames coming out of the middle of the stack in the back,” Fromm said. “A lot of people are hurt today. People don’t have jobs anymore. I want to rebuild as soon as possible because there’s a lot of people who love the Otis Cafe.”

 

Justin Wernerhttps://lchomepage.com
I'm publisher of Lincoln City Homepage. Also the web guy, photographer, cameraman, video editor, sportswriter, tech support, beat reporter, cat trainer and e-bike enthusiast. I have a passion for telling people's stories and keeping my fellow citizens informed.

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18 COMMENTS

  1. As so many have said….my childhood was spent ALWAYS stopping here for breakfast with family…always, and meeting up with friends sooo many times! The Menefee Family…ROBERT, JEANNE AND DAUGHTER, JOELLE (Boots) send prayers and gratefulness no one was injured and excited to hear possibility in reopening this special, historic “memory maker!” AND TERRI TOBKIN, THAT LEFT A MESSAGE A FEW AHEAD OF MINE, ITS BEEN A LIFETIME….BUT OUR FRIENDSHIP STARTED WHEN WE MET LIVING AT THE BIG TRAILER PARK IN TAFT, JUST SOUTH OF MAIN PART OF LINCOLN CITY! I HAVE THOUGHT OF YOU SO VERY OFTEN, BUT LIFE MOVES US IN DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS AND WE TEND TO LOOSE TOUCH WITH THOSE WHO BROUGHT SO MUCH JOY AND LAUGHTER INTO OUR LIVES!! YOU WERE A BIG PART OF OUR DAYS IN TAFT AND WOULD ABSOLUTELY LOVE TO RECONNECT!! SORRY IN SUCH A HEART BREAKING WAY….BUT MAYBE THIS EPISODE WILL FIND A WAY OF REUNITING OTHERS WHO HAVE LOST TOUCH OVER MANY YEARS!! JUST HOPING YOU SOMEHOW SEE MY MESSAGE AND MY Email address below! TERRI, I CAN BE FOUND ON FACEBOOK TOO! (ALL 3 IN SAN DIEGO AREA, STILL LIVIN THE TRAILER LIFE, BUT STILL ONLY BLOCKS FROM THE BEACH…OF COURSE!!

  2. I found the Otis Cafe much too late in life! Was just there on Tuesday for lunch. What a great bunch of people there! Praying that there won’t be a lot of red tape to muddle through do you can rebuild! So glad no one was hurt! Looking forward to coming again!

  3. This is crushing news to wake up to today. I am glad to hear that nobody was injured. This landmark means so much to do many folks locally and nationally. So when you rebuild it they will come in drives. Maybe somehow this will turn out to be a positive! Jim, I hope you can find another way to get by until you are again working at this great establishment. Good luck to all involved in the rebuild.

  4. Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!! First the Dory Cove in Lincoln City, and now our Beloved Otis Café. We are so, so sorry and hope you will rebuild. We will be there on your Grand Reopening. Our thoughts and prayer are with you all.
    Love and hugs from the Pengra Family of Redmond, Oregon

  5. I’ve been stopping here for molasses bread for over 40 years…. First as a child growing up going to the beach with my dad and now as an adult taking my kids to the beach… It’s a tradition that will be missed while you rebuild but looking forward to coming back again as soon as you’re open! Praying along side you all for a quick turnaround and so grateful no one was hurt!

  6. We live in Minnesota and are heartbroken. Otis Cafe was a MUST stop when visiting our daughter in Oregon. Memories were made there again this past June. We pray for your recovery and will come again to enjoy your homemade breakfasts, pie, cinnamon rolls, breads and love shared there.

  7. Woke today to hear about Otis Cafe fire! So glad to hear everyone is well. What a hard time for this tragedy to occur. As is any time!
    We purchased a home in December on the South end of Lincoln City. And happened in to Otis Cafe one moving day trip. It was like being welcomed into your mothers or Grandmothers kitchen. The space was not big but the hospitality of everyone was! My family has not enjoyed the breakfast there yet, but guaranteed will be regulars. I shared my table with strangers and felt well at home. Thank you! Best wishes for your recovery!

  8. The Otis cafe has been part of our family, both literally and figuratively, since the 1990s when my uncle owned it and I worked there with him, Jeff, my sister and cousins. We visit Lincoln City about once a month now and stop every time to at least get cookies and black bread, if not lunch. Jeff, we are devastated to hear this, and hope you can get her back up and running as soon as possible. We are thankful no one was hurt, and our prayers are with you, Lynn and your family during this difficult time. Please reach out if we can help. Nick – [email protected]

  9. JUST RECENTLY HAD THE PLEASURE OF EXPERIENCING THAT BEAUTIFUL LITTLE CAFE AND WAS LOOKING FORWARD TO STOPPING THERE AGAIN NEXT YEAR. GLAD NO ONE GOT HURT AND THAT THEY PLAN ON REBUILDING. GOD SPEED

  10. Even 2000 miles away we are sad this morning. There is a hole in the heart of the world that must be filled with German Potatoes and that wonderful black bread. Wishing the best ourcome and love for you guys.

  11. Would stop routinely with parents when camping in neskowin introduced my new wife to the ottis cafe she loves it was heartbroken when we heard the news if we can help let us know [email protected] just glad no one was hurt

  12. Before moving to Colorado in 2012, i had lived in Otis and Lincoln City most of my life. We used to go to the cafe when i was a child, and i enjoyed it as an adult. The atmosphere was great and the food was second to none. It is so sad to hear that this place is gone now. Despite being gone for over 7 years, there’s a part of my heart that will forever be in Lincoln City and Otis. I am glad to hear that nobody was inside at the time and there were no injuries.
    I really hope they will rebuild. It would be such a shame for this Landmark to just be gone.
    My heart is with the owners and the people who work there.

  13. This is a landmark for me. For, at least, the past 40 years, driving down from Portland to our other little home in Lincoln City, when I would hit Otis, I knew I was almost “home.” Even if we didnt stop to eat or get a bite to go, just seeing the sweet little cafe, brought a smile! This is very sad for everyone, near & far. Our hearts are all with the owner & staff at this time. Fortunately, no one was hurt, and buildings & “stuff” can all be replaced, despite it being a lot of work. They MUST rebuild. Prayers being sent!!

  14. That is such a sad sight to see this little cafe burn to the ground, I’m just glad and relieved that no one was hurt and I hope that they’ll be able to get the place up and running again one of my favorite places to bring people that are new and have them fill out the book of where they came from and their travels and they love to take home the homemade bread when they leave.

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