Fire damages popular 6th Ave. brunch spot, attached restaurant. When do they reopen?

A fire broke out in Tacoma’s Sixth Avenue business district Friday morning, causing smoke damage to popular brunch spot Dirty Oscar’s Annex and destroying the kitchen at North China Garden.

Dirty Oscar’s is closed this weekend, general manager and controller Carleen Preble said, but she hopes it can reopen early next week. North China Garden is a different story. The back wall and roof of the place looked charred and blackened by the flames.

“We’re literally hoping for days with Dirty Oscar, not weeks,” Preble said. “Northern China is going to be a bit more difficult. We just doubled over.

Both companies are owned by Kwan and Jenny Yee. Jenny stood on a sidewalk while firefighters arrived and said her company’s entire kitchen was gone. The husband and wife have owned North China Garden for nearly 20 years, she said. Jenny said she didn’t know how long it would take to reopen, but she was thankful no one was hurt.

It is not clear how the fire started or where it originated. The Tacoma Fire Department responded to the 2300 block of 6th Avenue at approximately 7:44 a.m. A house on the corner of 6th and Trafton Streets was also damaged. The homeowner, Tim Chan, said it was under renovation and no one was living there when the fire broke out.

The fire service says the cause of the fire is under investigation.

The dining areas of both Dirty Oscar’s Annex and North China Garden were untouched, but Preble said most of DOA’s inventory was lost to smoke. She said firefighters had to break through the ceiling of North China Garden to put out the fire, and they are still assessing whether DOA suffered any water damage. The companies share a common wall.

The dining area of ​​Dirty Oscar's Annex was undamaged after a fire broke out on 6th Avenue Friday morning.  Peter Talbot/The News Tribune

The dining area of ​​Dirty Oscar’s Annex was undamaged after a fire broke out on 6th Avenue Friday morning. Peter Talbot/The News Tribune

Preble, who is out of town, said staff at Dirty Oscar’s were getting ready to open at 7:30 a.m. when a supervisor called her about smoke coming from the office and alarms going off. She credited him for acting quickly to get the fire department to respond.

DOA has a secondary location in Sumner, Mini Oscar’s Annex, 813 Academy St., and Preble said she hopes customers will support the company while repairs are made.

“We’re not out of business and we’re going to open whether it’s Tuesday or Wednesday or however humanly possible,” Preble said. “I’ll be there Sunday, I don’t care if I have 15 trips to US Foods to replenish my stock. We are opening and we are opening in the community as soon as possible.