Ben Russell, NBC 5 News
Fort Worth's Lonesome Dove Western Bistro will be closed temporarily after a fire early Tuesday morning near the kitchen. Chef Tim Love says he hopes to be back open and taking reservations again in a month if possible.
Chef Tim Love's Lonesome Dove Western Bistro in the Fort Worth Stockyards will be closed for the time being after an early-morning fire Tuesday damaged the building.
Firefighters were called to 2404 N. Main Street just after 6 a.m. and reported seeing smoke and fire at the rear of a one-story commercial building upon arrival.
Fire officials shut down Main Street in both directions between NW 24th Street and Exchange Avenue in order to fight the fire.
After about 20 minutes, Fort Worth firefighters were able to quickly get the fire under control while containing most of the damage to the kitchen. Fire crews told NBC 5 the fire started near the kitchen but there is heavy smoke damage throughout the restaurant.
Love said the fire started near the kitchen, but didn't know how it started. Fort Worth Fire is still investigating the cause but says it cost $30,000 in damages.
NBC 5's Deborah Ferguson informed Love of the fire when she contacted him to ask for more information about the blaze. Love said he was devastated by the fire in the place where his career began.
In a tweet, Love said the restaurant would open "stronger."
Thanks for the outpouring of support. @lonesomedovefw caught fire early this morning. Everyone is safe. We will reopen stronger!
— Tim Love (@cheftimlove) August 20, 2013
The restaurant will be closed until further notice. But Love told NBC 5 on Tuesday afternoon he hoped to get a private dining area open in the next week and the entire restaurant back in 30 days, if possible.
"We want to build it back exactly the way it was," Love said. "We're not trying to change around the system or anything like that, just want it back to its regular fashion, up and going. We think we can do it in 30 days."
Love said the biggest thing for him is the safety and care of his employees.
"That’s my biggest concern right now, keeping my employees happy," Love said. "I have such a great team, making sure they're taken care of."
In addition to Lonesome Dove, Love owns and operates a number of establishments including Queenie's Steakhouse in Denton and The Woodshed, The Love Shack and The White Elephant Saloon in Fort Worth. Love's restaurants have been featured on numerous local and national television programs.
NBC 5's Chris Van Horne contributed to this report.