Downtown Austin Italian restaurant Red Ash caught on fire last night. The fire started at the 303 Colorado Street business during operating hours on Monday, September 11, around 6:30 p.m., as reported by KXAN.
The fire began in the Red Ash’s oven ventilation system, as reported by CBS Austin, and spread into the kitchen. The restaurant and the rest of the 30-story Colorado Tower building was evacuated. The resulting billowing smoke was visible throughout downtown Austin, from the streets to high above the city.
At 7:04 p.m., the Austin Fire Department tweeted that the Red Ash space was evacuated and that the crew was working on getting rid of the smoke in the building. No one was injured. The fire was determined to be an accidental one, as reported by Statesman.
Owner and chef John Carver told Eater over email that the restaurant will have to have some repairs, but that it’s “strong and intact.” Statesman reports that the restaurant will be closed for the rest of the week through Saturday, September 16, with its eventual reopening to be determined still.
Carver opened the Italian restaurant in October 2016. Before that, he had been the executive chef of chain restaurant Eddie V’s. He expanded with a second restaurant also in downtown Austin, J. Carver Oyster Bar and Chophouse, in 2021.
NEW - Red Ash, a popular downtown restaurant, caught fire in Austin Monday night.— John-Carlos Estrada ️ (@Mr_JCE) September 12, 2023
AFD tweets: “The restaurant has been evacuated & crews are working towards extinguishment as well as removing smoke from the building.” Expect delays. @cbsaustin pic.twitter.com/IcO2RjFHMX
Update, 2:03 p.m.: This article, originally published at 10:33 a.m., has been updated to include information from Red Ash’s owner, the cause of the fire, and that the restaurant is temporarily closed for now.