Toccoa Riverside Restaurant burned to the ground

We had two very cold days, with lows around 15° and strong winds, and the threat of a snow event Tuesday morning. It did snow a little early Tuesday morning, but then it rained and didn’t freeze. So in the end, it didn’t amount to anything. Today started out absolutely beautiful, with clear air and morning mists, and the temperature is now above 60° in downtown Blue Ridge.

The Toccoa Riverside Restaurant burned to the ground a few nights ago. The owner, who lives across the street, looked out and found it was on fire early Monday morning. I have heard some speculation that it was arson, but at this point the cause of the fire is unknown. Apparently, the building itself was thirty years old, and was originally a gas station. Tim Richter has operated it as a restaurant for twenty years and has said that it was insured.

The Fire & Ice chili cookoff and festival is this Saturday. The first festival, held last year, was a lot of fun, and I expect that this year will be better. Festivities begin at noon and end at 6:00 PM. There will be live music, ice carving demonstrations, an ice skating rink, and opportunities to taste the chili. I’m not sure whether there will be an event charge or whether the charge will be only to sample chili. I believe it was just to sample chili last year, but I may not remember correctly. In either case, it should be modest. The judging is around 3:00. Last year, there was a beer tent, and I expect there will be one this year as well.

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