North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Community rallies to support Village Restaurant


Christopher Andersson

The Village Restaurant on Feb. 24 after it received significant damage in a fire on Feb. 19.

A fire significantly damaged the well-known Village Restaurant in Marysville on Feb. 19 and now the community is trying to help pick up the pieces.

The local restaurant has been a staple of the downtown community since it opened in 1937.

Allen Hemmat, who owns the building and is the former owner of the restaurant, said he is "just so broken hearted that it is gone."

Hemmat isn't sure about the future of the land yet and is currently talking to his insurance company, but he hopes to rebuild if possible.

Although Hemmat lives out of state now, he said he "loves the people of Marysville and the state of Washington. We will try to come back for all those who have supported the Village Restaurant over the years," he said. "Hopefully, we won't let the people down," he added.

The current owner of the restaurant was unavailable for comment as of press time.

In the meantime though, there are approximately 20 employees who have suddenly become out of work, said Jessica Warren, who was a manager at the Village Restaurant for more than 10 years.

A GoFundMe page is set to launch, said Warren, and a community fundraising event is scheduled for March 2 at Fanny's Restaurant to help workers who are now displaced.

"All of the support so far has been awesome," she said.

"We don't know how fast any of that is going to get to the employees, so right now is probably the hardest part," she said.

Terry Shrout, owner of Fanny's Restaurant in downtown Marysville, is hosting the March 2 event to help the Village Restaurant employees.

"Our family, all of us, at one point or another have worked at the Village or know someone who has," said Shrout.

"So when we heard the news, we felt really bad and we wanted to do something to support those employees who have been displaced," he said.

He plans to hold an event from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at his restaurant at 505 Cedar Ave., and invites any community member to stop by to support the Village Restaurant employees.

"The people who work at restaurants, you know they love the job because there's not much money in it. They often live paycheck to paycheck," he said.

Warren did say she enjoyed working at the Village Restaurant.

"It was the best and easiest place to work at," she said. "I think that the bonds that the customer base and the employees formed is really special."

The camaraderie between the employees was great, and continues to be as they support each other after the fire, said Warren.

"There hasn't been a day since the fire where we haven't thought about each other," she said.

The restaurant itself was well liked by many locals, said Hemmat. "I have lots of good memories of the restaurant," he added.

The Village Restaurant served as a social gathering place for many of the residents in Marysville.

"After work, like a clock, we would have a bunch of regulars get together," he said.

The environment reminded him of the classic TV show "Cheers" he said, because "everybody would know everything about each other's lives."

Many friends and families met at the restaurant, Hemmat said.

"It has been a part of Marysville for a long time. You can go back two to three generations and people know it. I've had people tell me 'my grandmother used to take me here,'" he said.


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