Fire destroys Outlaw Bar-B-Q, puts 14 people out of work

Blaze reduces Outlaw Bar-B-Q to rubble
(Source: Facebook)
(Source: Facebook)

VIVIAN, LA (KSLA) - After decades of serving up delicious comfort food to people from throughout the ArkLaTex, the owners of Outlaw Bar-B-Q in Vivian are picking up the pieces.

A massive fire ripped through the aged structure Saturday morning, rendering the small business a total loss.

"You're devastated, you've lost your job, you've lost your everything," co-owner Jan Olivares said of the fire's impact. "Everything is gone."

She and her husband have owned the Vivian barbecue staple since 2013, but the restaurant has been dishing out barbecue since the 1970s.

"It's a loss for our town because Outlaw is a destination location. And people drive from all over to eat here, and it's gone," Olivares said. "They drive an hour, an hour and a half, just to come up here and eat."

The fire began in the restaurant's pit and spread throughout the rest of the building in a matter of minutes, she said.

Two people who were working inside when the fire started made it out safely.

"I got a call around 7:20 a.m. from the Police Department that said, 'Outlaw Bar-B-Q was on fire,'" Olivares recalled.

"You're seeing your hopes and dreams and your hard work go up in flames."

For the small town of Vivian, Outlaw Bar-B-Q might be gone.

But countless memories created inside its now-charred walls will remain there forever.

"We've got a bunch of good-hearted people here, you know?" said Fire Chief Jay Paulette, of Caddo Fire District 8. "This is going to be a tragic loss for us because a lot of people did patronize Miss Jan."

Now Olivares is left asking herself: What's next?

"We're believers in Jesus and prayers from the community help get you through," Olivares said.

"We've got to get rid of this damage and start trying to rebuild."

Olivares said 14 people worked at the restaurant and all now are out of a job.

She and her husband still are discussing whether to rebuild.

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