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" TEXAS TILL I DIE "
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ate there a few times and thought the food was great, hope they can reopen!
Fire closes popular mainland eatery

By T.J. Aulds
The Daily News TEXAS CITY - An early morning fire Sunday gutted the kitchen area and caused heavy smoke damage to the dining room of Gus' Restaurant, one of Texas City's oldest and most popular restaurants.

The fire broke a few minutes after midnight Sunday of the restaurant that's been a part of the city's dining scene for more than 40 years.

"It's bad," owner Mike Tucker said. "The kitchen is gone. The fire didn't get to the dining room, but there was a lot of smoke.

"Everything is black."

The cause of the fire was under investigation, Fire Chief Joseph "Brud" Gorman said. Tucker said it appears an electrical failure sparked the blaze.

A Texas City police officer was near the restaurant when he heard a "pop" and saw smoke, Tucker said. Gus' Restaurant is located about a block from the Texas City Police Department.

Yellow tape circled the building where evidence of black soot from where flames licked the outside of the building could be seen near the roofline. A piece of plywood replaced an entrance door that firefighters knocked out to get in the building to battle the fire.

A stream of cars carrying onlookers passed by the restaurant, 911 11th Ave. N., Sunday morning as word spread through town about the fire.

Tucker said he was unsure what the future holds for the restaurant. He said he had insurance but wasn't sure what it would cover in this case.

For now the restaurant is closed indefinitely, he said.

"I don't know what to do for my employees," Tucker said. "I am really more concerned for them than myself."

Most of Tucker's employees have worked for him for more than five years; many of his staffers have been there for more than 15 years.

It's also a popular lunch spot for petrochemical plant workers and the place where Texas City's old guard still come for dinner. Through the years as restaurants have come and gone, Gus' has remained mostly unchanged.

Its décor features a collection of vanity license plates, many of them from regular customers, on the walls and a collection of semiprivate booths on either side of the restaurant. The cozy restaurant is known for grilled steaks and a chicken piccata that many customers claim is addicting.

Its bar is also a favorite hangout, especially on the weekends.
 

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At the gym
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4,704 Posts
Yea, My crew worked that fire Saturday night while I was off sick. I'm about to go in this morning on shift and will get the scoop.

They also worked a fatality wreck right after that.

E33 also worked a down power line on 6th Street, where two FF's got hit by a drunk. Neither was seriously injured and the drunk sped away.

One was telling me that they were sitting at the intersection with their lights on waiting for the power company. A car had hit the pole and left the scene.

Well drunk #1 came driving up and even when they tried to stop him he ran over the line. Then turned the corner hitting the corner and pulled up to a house. They watch him get out, stumble up, pee on the side of the house and then start trying to look into the windows.

They call dispatch who says everyone is busy and will get a car out as soon as one is available.

Drunk #2 drives up and they actually stop him. Tell him to turn around but he tries to go forward. Tell him again that he needs to turn around. One FF is standing at the front of the vehicle when the driver floors it to go straight anyway. Flips the FF up on the hood and he falls to one side. The car fishtails and hit the other FF.

He speeds off and they call dispatch who this time gets a car enroute right away. A few minutes later another patrol car comes to pick up the Acting Captain so he can ID the guy they pulled over. He goes with them, looks at the guy and says, 'No, that is not him, but that is the guy who hit the pole."

He shows them the front end damage with the missing mirror and missing headlight. He tells them he has a mirror and headlight on scene by the pole that matches this car.

So they got the guy who hit the pole by sheer luck. and he turns out to be drunk #3. Must have been a party somewhere that night.

None of the crews got any sleep on that 24 hour shift. So I am hoping that they got it all out of their system and we have a quite shift this shift.
 

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Senior Member, do I get a discount?
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Exciting night, too bad the FF on the hood didn't have a Hallagan in his hand and could have persuaded the driver to stop, with a couple of nots on the head!
 

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At the gym
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Exciting night, too bad the FF on the hood didn't have a Hallagan in his hand and could have persuaded the driver to stop, with a couple of nots on the head!
His acting Captain said today that the FF did have a flashlight in his hand and managed to hit the guy with it. The flashlight ended up in the car as the drunk sped away.

Going to get the pictures off one FF's phone to post up hopefully tomorrow of Gus' burning.

The Fire Marshall went back over there today and is still trying to determine a cause.

Mike Tucker does not own the building, he only leases it from Ms. Nessler. He did have insurance for the contents though.

It does look like it can be restored as the kitchen area took the brunt of the fire. The dining area took only smoke damage. The FF's first on scene made a great stop. So it is not a total loss.
 

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this is sad, but i'm sure tucker will fix it back up and be back up again soon. gus' is an institution in texas city. i grew up with and went to school and church with the family that started gus' restaurant back in the 60's. a little electical fire won't keep it down.

the oldest son of the original owners is still cooking the steaks there.
 

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" TEXAS TILL I DIE "
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26,160 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
posting this for all the people who liked to eat at gus and some that may want to try it when they reopen!
Phil Osburn hangs a towel dispenser in the kitchen at the new location of Gus' Restaurant in Texas City on Friday afternoon. The restaurant, which was destroyed by a fire Dec. 20, will reopen at Palmer Highway and 34th Street.

Gus' finds new location

By T.J. Aulds
The Daily News TEXAS CITY - When a Christmas-week fire gutted Gus' Restaurant, the future of one of Texas City's oldest and most popular restaurants was very much in doubt.

This week, owner Mike Tucker said the restaurant that's served up barbecue, steaks and chicken piccata for more than 40 years soon would be reborn at a new location.

Tucker leased the space that once housed Pho-Tran Grill and Seafood, a Vietnamese food eatery at 34th Street and Palmer Highway that shut its doors Saturday. The owners of Pho-Tran also run Pho Hoang Vietnamese Restaurant, 2402-C Bay Area Blvd.

He said the location would be Gus' permanent home and he won't reopen at the burned out location on the corner of Ninth Street and 11th Avenue.

"I had all sorts of offers to move to places all over, even out of Texas City," Tucker said. "But we really wanted to stay here because that's where our customers are."

Tucker credited Texas City-La Marque Chamber of Commerce President Jimmy Hayley, who helped get favorable lease terms, and Texas First Bank for getting him close to reopening so soon after the Dec. 20 blaze.

The financial backing of the bank was critical, Tucker said, because he discovered his insurance policy at the old location had expired and blamed an accounting error for the lapse.

Tucker could not say exactly when he would reopen because he didn't know how long interior construction would take or when health inspectors would sign off the new site.

He said he hoped that by February the chicken piccata that many customers swear is addicting and mainstays such the rib-eye sandwich will be back on the table.

Tucker said the new location had advantages over the old one, including more parking.

"It will be easier to tell people how to find us. Just come to Highway 146 and Palmer Highway."

Its proximity to BP's main Texas City office also promises to be a boon to business, Tucker said.

Tucker said he expected that most, if not all, of his employees would return to work, as well.

Many found temporary work after the blaze, and longtime Gus' staffers like 20-year employee Michelle Skipper said they would return at a moment's notice.

Tucker said he wasn't sure how the mix of old license plates, many donated by longtime customers, and other signature items that adorned the walls of Gus' would be put on display at his new location.

All of the wall hangings and other items from the old location are stacked in Tucker's garage.

He said his first priority is to get the kitchen up and running and to figure out how to make the Gus' look work with Asian-themed décor, including lots of bamboo rods embedded in the walls.

Meanwhile, Texas City Fire Marshal Dennis Harris said he has ruled the fire at the old location as accidental. He said it appears staff members who had cleaned up after closing the night before the fire left chemical soaked rags in a bucket that ignited.

While the fire was contained to the kitchen and parts of Gus' barbecue shop, which was next door to the restaurant, smoked filled the dining room area.
 
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