Chautauqua County Café Looks To Bounce Back Following Fire

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ELLERY – A Chautauqua County Café is looking to bounce back following a devastating fire that leveled the family-owned business. They are now crediting the community’s support as their drive to do so.

“We’ve had so many people reach out and offer support, business-wise as well as personally with our kids and our family,” says restaurant co-owner Paige Oyer.

Just after 2 a.m. Sunday, the Fluvanna Fire Department, along with several others, responded to the Homestead Café at 3062 Rt. 430 in the Town of Ellery. Following an intense fire fight, the building was destroyed.

Image via Homestead Cafe / Facebook

Oyer, who owns the restaurant alongside her husband, says her family is working to fulfill their existing catering jobs, despite the tragic loss.

“Currently we’re looking for a place to temporarily work out of, but our plan is to before June, when the wedding season starts, have a either temporary or permanent spot to cook out of,” says Oyer. “But we’ve had a couple different businesses reach out with opportunities for that as well.”

The restaurant managed to stay afloat during the pandemic, shifting their operations from a simple mom and pop diner to a growing catering business. They specialize in some of Western New York’s favorite eats, like beef on weck and chicken cordon bleu.

Image by Justin Gould / WNY News Now.

Though the cause of the fire is yet to be determined, Oyer says that eventually, the business will return to a brick-and-mortar location. The restaurant had become like a second home for her family, as Oyer explained, creating memories with her husband and children over the years.

“It really came out of nowhere. We were working there the Saturday evening we were there, and then that night, six to eight hours before we left, it was all gone,” says Oyer.

While the owners readjust, they remain thankful that none of their six employees were present or injured during the fire.

The Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office Fire Investigation team says so far the cause is undetermined.

Investigators say they are continuing interviews, examining financial information and other insurance information before concluding. This, they tell us, is pretty routine for an examination of this scope.


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