An electrical fire closed School House Kitchen & Libations at 5560 Olde Wadsworth Boulevard at the end of February, and while no employees or customers were injured in the blaze, damage to the kitchen was extensive enough to keep the place closed since then. But repairs and inspections are finally complete, and the year-old restaurant will reopen on Wednesday, April 13, for lunch and dinner.
Owner Scott Spears says that School House will be thanking the Arvada Fire Department, which kept the fire from destroying the entire building — an actual schoolhouse built in 1882 — by donating 10 percent of all sales through April 20 to the Friends of Arvada Fire.
Although insurance covered some employee wages, Spears also sold T-shirts to raise additional funds to keep employees paid. Other fundraisers were held by neighboring businesses and vendors, and as of today, all but three of School House's 75 employees have stayed on board.
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Kitchen and bar staff used the time off to come up with new food and drink offerings that will be added to the menu this week; a new "whiskey encyclopedia" will help patrons navigate the ins and outs of the
bar's extensive list of whiskeys, which numbers more than 1,100. The collection prompted Spears to create the "whiskey fire drill" graphic (below) that went on the fundraiser T-shirts.
School House raised funds to help pay employees by selling T-shirts with this whiskey fire drill illustration.
Courtesy of School House/Scott Spears