Fire Destroys Portion of Muggsy’s Fine Dining Complex

By Jeremy Coumbes on April 14, 2021 at 6:57pm

Fire crews fight a multiple structure fire in the 200 block of West College Avenue Wednesday afternoon in downtown Jacksonville.

A portion of a downtown restaurant in Jacksonville is deemed a total loss after a fire broke out Wednesday afternoon.

The Jacksonville Fire Department responded to a call of a structure fire at Muggsy’s Hangout located at 216 East College Street at approximately 4:00 pm.

Jacksonville Fire Chief Doug Sills says when the first units arrived there was a large amount of fire in between two structures on what appeared to be a deck. He says given the wind conditions the fire spread to the two structures on either side of the deck fairly quickly.

Sills says no one was injured in the blaze. He says they were fortunate with enough resources on hand to divide the scene into two incidents with one team on each structure. South Jacksonville Fire Department personnel arrived on scene just after 4:00 pm to assist.

The Woodson Fire Department was called in to provide coverage for South Jacksonville, and Chapin Fire Department personnel came and provided coverage for the Jacksonville substation on West Lafayette. Sills says “pretty much every fire resource in the city limits of Jacksonville were committed to this incident.”

Initial estimates of the damage are between $300,000 and $320,000 given the two separate structures, the deck, and the contents. The west structure is the kitchen for Muggsy’s Fine Dining while the east structure was known as Muggsy’s Hideout and was a private dining and meeting area. Both were connected to the large patio area behind Muggsy’s Fine Dinning located on Mauvaisterre Street.

The Muggsy’s Hideout building (right) is deemed a total loss after fire broke out Wednesday afternoon. fire officials suspect the kitchen house (left) will also be a total loss due to extensive damage not visible in the picture.

Muggsy’s was set to reopen next week after an extensive shut down due to mitigations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Sills says renovation work was underway in the area of the deck, which had recently been stained with some poly-based or oil-based stain which is believed to have contributed to the rapid spread of the fire.

Sills says currently they are looking at a couple of possible ignition sources but due to the extent of the damage, a cause of the ignition may not be able to be determined.