A blaze at the legendary Austin hotspot raged for more than half an hour before firefighters were able to bring it under control.
Austin's legendary Franklin Barbecue suffered a 'massive' fire in the early hours Saturday morning. According to local news reports, the fire "started at 5:27 a.m. as people were getting ready to cook for the day" and raged until 6:05 a.m. when firefighters were able to contain the blaze. No injuries were reported.
The Austin fire department tweeted their response to the fire early this morning:
As one of the city's most-talked about restaurants, Franklin Barbecue is also known for its epic early-morning lines. For years, locals and tourists—and reporters and spectators—have queued up for hours at dawn for the chance to taste some of Franklin's meat.
"Rain or shine, six days a week, hundreds of men, women and children wait three to five hours or longer to eat some of the most celebrated smoked beef brisket in America," the New York Times wrote just last year. "The line has become a thing unto itself—a kind of pregame party for meat, 2,000 pounds of it daily—instead of sport, and the best visible evidence of the cult of Texas barbecue."
To that end, there were plenty of first-hand witness accounts as the fire consumed the pit area and flames shot into the sky.
At 7:08 a.m. CT / 8:08 a.m. ET the Austin fire department tweeted that the fire was contained to the pit area and the restaurant had suffered smoke damage.
Here is a photo from the scene of the fire:
Cause of the fire is still under investigation, but the Franklin Barbecue website indicates that the restaurant will be "closed due to fire" from August 26 through September 2, with the note: "We'll update ya'll when we know more."