KC’s Bar-B-Que launches fundraising effort after devastating fire

Heather Feibleman /Staff

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After a fire broke out at KC’s Bar-B-Que on Feb.17, the restaurant’s owners are fundraising to repair the building.

Berkeley Fire Department determined that the fire caused more than $500,000 worth of damage, according Kristen Davis, the owner’s daughter. The Davis family, which owns and operates KC’s Bar-B-Q, is currently raising money on the website GoFundMe and is also hosting an event at San Pablo Park on March 4, which will double as a celebration of the restaurant’s 50th anniversary and as a fundraiser.

Davis said the family is still in shock but is grateful no one was injured. She emphasized the family aspect of the restaurant, saying in an email that the restaurant is “all (they’ve) ever known” as it was opened in 1968 by her grandfather and later passed down to her father.

“We stood together holding each other up as the flames seemed to increase,” Davis wrote in an email. “We are doing the best (we) can dealing with such a great loss. It feels like a death to us and the community. But we are going to make (it) TOGETHER.”

Most of the extensive damage was in the kitchen, and many of the family’s heirlooms were lost, according to Davis. Despite such major losses, Davis said in an email that she is “beyond thankful” that firemen were able to recover family photos dating back to the 1800s.

According to Davis, it will take anywhere from $100,000 to $500,000 to reopen the restaurant. In order to cover the costs, the family is undertaking fundraising efforts.

The Davis family has raised nearly $9,000 in donations through GoFundMe, as of press time. According to the restaurant’s GoFundMe page, the Davis family is asking for the help of the Berkeley community to help them reach an ultimate goal of $100,000.

Although the fire interrupted what would have been the 50th anniversary of the restaurant, Davis said they are using the opportunity to celebrate this achievement for further fundraising. On March 4, the family will hold a luncheon in San Pablo Park from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., where they will be accepting donations for BBQ lunches prepared by KC’s Bar-B-Que staff and the Davis family, as well as selling restaurant merchandise.

As for its reopening, KC’s Bar-B-Que will not be up and running in the near future, but the Davis family is working to make further progress, according to Davis.

“We don’t have any idea when we will be back in business,” Davis said in an email.  “We are a Small family business and we will have to work hard just like my grandfather did to get back on our feet.”

Contact Michelle Perales at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @machellelucy.