The owner of Agar’s Corner hopes it will still be a busy wedding location this summer despite a fire ripping through the property’s historic homestead earlier this week.
The popular spot for nuptial celebrations saw its kitchen and restaurant burned to the ground on Tuesday, after Saskatoon Fire said a blaze started in the 105-year-old building’s basement.
However, owner Don Agar told 650 CKOM on Wednesday they won’t be cancelling any weddings because of the fire.
“We’re not done by any means,” he said. “We don’t want to ruin some couple’s summer.”
The converted home was built in 1913 on the property just southeast of Saskatoon, which has been with the Agars for five generations. Don’s father grew up in the house with his siblings, but they later converted it into a small restaurant to support their wedding business.
A coverall building which hosts large receptions and dances still stands across the driveway and wasn’t damaged by the fire.
Agar said when news spread of the blaze, he was inundated with offers of help from other businesses in Saskatoon. Several caterers offered to let he and his wife use their kitchen spaces to support the weddings already booked for the venue.
“It was overwhelming,” he said. “Quite the thing when something bad happens to have something good come out of it.”
However, he said he wasn’t surprised by the generosity. “We stand behind each other as small businesses,” he said. “Sometimes it seems like competition but it’s not when it comes down to something like this.”
The family is hoping to start a rebuild of the restaurant within a few weeks — once a fire inspector tells them they can remove the debris.
Agar said they’ll try to keep the “character feel” of the lost home in the new construction, and antiques from his and his parents will help decorate the restaurant.
He added it will be a relief once the debris is cleared, and even better once the new home goes up.
“That’ll be a big load off us when we don’t see (the wreckage) every time we turn the corner,” he said. “It’s been 100 years that view has been that way.”