Church Street Cafe works to reopen after fire

| September 15, 2016

By Noelani Mathews | WCTV Eyewitness News

HAHIRA – After a Tuesday morning fire, the only thing Church Street Cafe in Hahira will be serving is memories.

Fire crews fought the blaze in enough time to save the structure, but the inside was left completely scorched.

“Most of these pictures are older pictures of the evolution of Hahira,” says Mason Barfield.

The property has been owned by his family for more than 20 years.

Now, the pictures are charred black and matching the rest of the interior.

“It’s like most people will tell you in a fire,” Barfield says. “You can replace a structure. You can’t replace a lot of those types of things that gives the structures personality. That’s why I think people loved to be here so much.”

He says it’s much more than a hometown restaurant.

“It’s a famous Hahira gossip place. Everybody gets together and solves each other’s problems here,” Barfield adds.

Just last year, it was called Church Street Coffee and owned by Tim Coombs.

“We’d get a lot of information and solve all the world’s problems right here”, says Coombs, President of Hahira’s Historical Society.

He says many of the pictures caught in the fire date back to the 1920’s and belong to the History Museum in Hahira.

While looking over the damage, he says the important thing they haven’t lost is the support from loyal customers.

The owners say they’re hoping to have the cafe back in good shape in a matter of two months.

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