Massive Fire Destroys LA’s Famous OB Bear Bar and Restaurant in Koreatown

A popular restaurant at LA’s Koreatown will be closed indefinitely after incurring heavy fire damage over the weekend. 

The fire broke out inside OB Bear on Sunday morning, burning its walls and furniture in the front, Korea Daily reported. Soon after the incident, images of the damage emerged on social media.

 

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A post shared by OB BEAR (@obbearla)

Owners of the iconic bar and restaurant have reportedly expressed their plans to rebuild, according to EaterOB Bear co-owner Justin Lee revealed that he initially thought they had lost the entire building after receiving a call around 5:30 a.m.

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Thanks to the efforts of the firefighters who arrived within ten minutes of getting the call, the entire building was spared from total destruction and no one was injured.

“It happened really fast. We’re curious how it happened because our cameras didn’t catch anything. It just started and grew really fast,” Lee was quoted as saying. 

He and his parents, Jason and Hee Soo Lee, reviewed the footage but still can’t deduce how the fire started. 

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“I don’t think it was arson. The insurance adjuster will determine all the liabilities.”

Lee’s parents opened the late night Koreatown bar in 1988, quickly earning a reputation as one of the best Korean-style suljips in all of Los Angeles. 

While the restaurant’s popularity has allowed it to successfully endure the beginning of the pandemic by pivoting to takeouts and creating a safe outdoor dining space, the damage from the fire has put a temporary halt in its entire operations.

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A post shared by OB BEAR (@obbearla)

According to Lee, his father was heavily affected by the bar’s closure as it left him with not much to do. As they aim to reopen within a year, they are now looking into renting a temporary commercial kitchen where they can continue a takeout operation in the meantime.

Featured Image via Google Maps (left), @josie_huang (right)

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