Restaurant destroyed by fire in Mercer County

No injuries were reported and the restaurant is a total loss


OTTER CREEK TWP., Pa. (WYTV) – A fire destroyed the Hitch’n Post Bar and Grill on Hadley Road in Otter Creek Township, just outside of Greenville.

The restaurant closed at 10 p.m. Sunday, then, someone driving by around 1 a.m. Monday saw flames shooting from the roof and called 911.

Fourteen fire departments were called to the fire. When crews arrived, the restaurant was engulfed.

No injuries were reported. The restaurant is a total loss. The State Fire Marshal has been called to investigate.

The Hitch’n Post was known for its Halloween party and being crowded when bands would play.

Siera Gross, a bartender there, got a call overnight telling her that it was on fire. She spent a few hours watching it burn, tried to sleep, and then came back to see the place in the daylight.

“I’ve been in tears all morning because it’s just devastating,” Gross said. “It was such a beautiful bar. Such good people.”

Gross found a couple pieces from the rubble that she’ll clean up and give to the owner.

“It’s always a good environment, always good energy,” she said. “We always have a blast together. No matter what the crowd is, we get in here and we always make fun out of it somehow.”

The same structure caught fire in 2005 when it was the Otter Creek Hotel and Cantina. James Hall had been renting a room there and died of smoke inhalation. That fire was ruled arson and the death a homicide.

Michael Watson, 43, was sentenced to 19 to 53 years in prison in connection with the arson and Hall’s death. Watson admitted setting the fire at the hotel but said he never meant to kill anyone.

Phil and Sylvia Chow were the current owners, having run the Hitch’n Post for four years. WYTV talked with the Chows on Monday, who said it was too soon to express their feelings.

“We had a jar of pickles survive — we were joking around that we’re going to serve smoked pickles,” Gross said. “She’s just a sweetheart. What are you going to do? You can sit around and cry or you can pick up, have some laughs and move forward. And that’s definitely Sylvia and Phil’s attitude for sure.”

 

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