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Monday, March 25 , 2019, 11:54 pm | Fair 52º

 
 
 
 

Kitchen Fire Forces Evacuation, Closure of Mattei’s Tavern in Los Olivos

A fire in the kitchen area forced the evacuation and closure of Mattei’s Tavern in Los Olivos Friday night, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

Shortly after 8 p.m., firefighters were dispatched to the historic structure at 2350 Railway Ave.

Upon arrival, they found a fire burning in the wall behind the barbecue pit in the kitchen, said fire Capt. Dave Zaniboni.

Firefighters opened up the wall and doused the flames, which were contained to that area, Zaniboni said.

The restaurant was evacuated and subsequently closed for the evening, he added.

Investigators were dispatched to search for the cause of the blaze, and crews remained on scene doing mop-up.

Maile Halme, Mattei's chef, thanked fire crews on her Facebook page:

"I’m beyond grateful for our local Fire Department who responded immediately and saved this beloved historic restaurant with the most minimal damage and utmost respect for the building."

Mattei's Tavern was built in the late 1800s, and served originally as a stagecoach stop. Today it is a historic landmark, sitting just off Highway 154.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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