Houston cocktail bar and pizzeria Betelgeuse Betelgeuse experienced a fire on Friday, August 25, that caused significant damage to the restaurant’s food trailer, which prepares all of the bar’s food, including its ironclad-styled pizzas.
But the fire, which was reportedly caused by an electrical issue, hasn’t kept the Washington Avenue pizza bar down for long. Already, Betelgeuse Betelgeuse owner Chris Cusack says the bar has received support from residents and local food trucks that have stepped in to fill the gap while it works to replace the truck, which functioned as the bar’s kitchen.
This week, the following food trucks will be serving in Betelgeuse Betelgeuse’s place:
- Wednesday: Fat Boy BBQ, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
- Thursday: Seoul Side Wings, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
- Friday: El Botas Tacos, 6 p.m. to midnight
- Saturday: Blk Mkt Birria, 6 p.m. to midnight
- Sunday: Based Burgers, 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Cusack says a member of the prep crew discovered the fire around 9 a.m. that morning. By the time Cusack got there, Third Ward firefighters who had seen smoke while driving by had responded and were already on site putting the fire out, but the customized truck, which took nine months to build, was destroyed within minutes.
“After 20 years of owning cafes and restaurants, it was an eating feeling coming in and realizing this is something I utterly can’t fix,” says Cusack, noting that the bar had only had the truck for 36 days.
Aside from working with insurance companies over the next several weeks to get a replacement, Cusack says he’ll likely re-outfit the older, smaller truck that Betelgeuse Betelgeuse used before with a new oven to start making pizzas again. Until then, Betelgeuse Betelgeuse will likely get another schedule of food trucks on board to serve the bar’s diners over the next two weeks.
The fire comes at a challenging time, as Cusack works to open his second location of Betelgeuse Betelgeuse in Montrose. He opened the Washington Avenue location with its intergalactic theme in 2022.
“My overwhelming thing now aside from ‘Wow, I wish that never happened,’ is I feel really grateful it wasn’t worse and it’s a really heartening thing after something that’s pretty devastating, that every person ... has been very supportive, which makes it easier to go through,” Cusack says.