Update Feb. 22, 2020 at 11:06 a.m.: Katy Fire Department Fire Marshal Gregg Peterson said, while the investigation is ongoing, initial investigation indicates that the fire was likely electrical in nature and may have been caused by power surges throughout the week causing electrical components within the building to deteriorate and eventually catch fire. However, he emphasized that the investigation is not complete and is ongoing.
Midway BBQ Operations Manager Jason Carlisle said the restaurant appears to be a total loss, though the restaurant itself is insured. However, many items will be difficult to replace such as the taxidermy items on the walls and pictures.
Trish Herman, daughter of Meyer Foods owner Herman Meyer and operations manager at Meyer Foods, said the family is looking for the community's assistance in replacing the photos that addorned the walls of the restaurant. Anyone with copies of older photos or even more recent photos taken in the current location prior to the fire can email digital copies of the photos to: email@example.com.
Trish Herman said the main concern the family has right now is taking care of the staff that keep Midway BBQ going every day. The family intends to employ as many of them as possible with work at the company's other businesses and all staff will be paid for last week's hours and hours they would have worked this week, at a minimum. Other avenues to support the staff are being worked on as quickly as the Herrmans and Carlisle can.
"They're the first people that are on our list that we're concerned about," she said.
Meyer Foods representatives said they are very appreciative of the efforts of the community to set up a fundraiser for the employees of Midway BBQ. An event is scheduled for March 6 at MKT Distillery at 5373 First Street in Katy's historic rice silos. The event will feature music from local singer Hayden Baker and will run from 2:30-8:30 p.m. Darrell Wayne will also perform and a silent auction and raffles will be held during the fund raiser.Those who are unable to attend may stop by the distillery during its regular hours to make a donation benefiting Midway BBQ's employees.
Those wishing to donate items for the silent auction should contact Adrienne Joy Davitz via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally posted Feb. 20 at 5:15 p.m.: A press release from Katy Fire Marshal Greg Peterson confirmed Saturday that Midway BBQ at 6025 Highway Boulevard in downtown Katy had seen heavy damage after responding to a call there. Nine Katy Fire Department vehicles and six units from other agencies responded to the fire. The cause of the fire is still unknown.
“Crews arrived on scene and found light-colored smoke pushing from the attic and smoke showing from all overhangs,” Peterson said in the press release. “Upon further inspection crews found heavy fire conditions inside and began actively putting water on the fire. The fire was reported under control at 3:45 a.m.”
Nobody, civilian or firefighter, was harmed in the fire, Peterson said.
Midway BBQ has been a longtime staple of the Katy food scene for years with the location that burned down being about 10 years old, with one addition since the location was built. Prior to that, the barbeque spot was housed at the current Midway Meat Market at 5901 highway Boulevard in Katy, just a short distance from the restaurant. The family of Herman Meyer of Meyer Foods also owns and operates Midway Deer Processing located behind the meat market.
Midway BBQ representative Jason Carlisle, a Meyer Foods representative, announced via the restaurant’s Facebook page that Katy FD had fought the fire for over an hour to get it under control and said the company is still in shock over the tragic fire.
“There is good news,” Carlisle said. “We are going to rebuild and make better. We would like to thank everybody in the Katy Community that has reached out with prayers and offers of help. We will be back.”
No timeline on how long it would be before the restaurant opens was included in Carlisle’s Facebook posting; however, while the exterior of the building only appears to be charred, photos Carlisle posted show the building with severe fire damage. One firefighter who responded to the fire said he thought the restaurant may be a complete loss. However, Carlisle assured the community that Midway BBQ would be back to serve the community.
Community members wishing to support the Meyer family may shop at Midway Meat Market or utilize the services of Midway Deer Processing. The meat market has some ability to produce barbeque and has a selection of groceries, including meat processed at the Midway Deer Processing facility.
Katy Mayor Bill Hastings said his heart went out to Meyer and his family whom he has known for more than 40 years and has seen continuously support the people of Katy through the Meyer Foods family of businesses and in other ways. Hastings said Midway BBQ has been Meyer’s pride and joy for quite a while.
“It’s very unfortunate,” Hastings said. “Not only for the (Meyer) but for the community too.”
Other Katy-area business owners have offered their support. Bobby Katsabas, owner of Snappy’s in downtown Katy was seen offering his support to the family at the restaurant and MKT Distillery owners Nicholas Jessett and his wife Nici Jessett announced via their business’ Facebook page that they are working on plans for a fundraiser to assist the owners and staff of Midway BBQ. Details are not yet finalized but include musical performances by local artist Hayden Baker. MKT Distillery is already collecting donations for Midway BBQ at their distillery.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the owners and employees. The City of Katy was awesome to us when we couldn't open last summer and now we want to pay it forward,” the Jessetts said via their Facebook page.