ASHEBORO, N.C. -- A community in Asheboro is mourning the loss of a popular restaurant that was destroyed by a fire Wednesday night.
The Olde Towne Deli and Bistro at 239 White Oak St. closed because of significant fire damage.
"It was just an institution for all the locals, just a great lunch spot and you know good old time cooking," said customer Michael Harmon.
Firefighters responded to the Olde Towne Deli and Bistro on White Oak Street around 10:15 p.m. The restaurant is located just south of Randolph Hospital.
No one was injured. Assistant Fire Chief Eddie Cockman said the fire was contained to the kitchen area, but much of the structure suffered significant heat and smoke damage.
Firefighters battled through near-zero visibility to get the fire under control in about 20 minutes, Cockman said.
Sherry Capps is one of the 11 employees that work there.
"Its not like work we're friends -- we're family this is what we call our deli family -- this was our life," she said. "Everybody here is family -- not just inside at the working stations its the people sitting at the tables."
The business has been serving lunch for 28 years. The cause of the fire has not been determined.
Employees said they hope to reopen the restaurant although it remains uncertain when or where.