A restaurant popular with Nanaimo and Ladysmith residents was ravaged by fire early Monday morning.
Country Kitchen, located south of Nanaimo in Cassidy at Island Highway and Beck Road, burned to the ground. Firefighters, who were still at the scene at 8 a.m. knocking down hot spots in the smouldering remains of the structure, said the alarm was called in at 2 a.m.
No one was known to be in the building at the time of the fire and there were no injuries. The cause of the blaze is being investigated, but has not been determined.
The building, which has long been operated as a roadside restaurant – formerly known as the Frog and Puddle and prior to that as the Juniper Cafe – recently underwent extensive renovations before reopening in late April as the Country Kitchen.
If anyone has information on this incident, please contact Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com.