Salem community rallies behind Mac and Bob’s following Monday’s electrical fire


SALEM, Va. (WFXR) — A co-owner of Salem restaurant, Mac and Bob’s, says community members have shown tremendous support during a difficult time for the restaurant.

Mac and Bob’s is currently closed as crews work to clean up the estimated $10,000 in damages from an accidental electrical fire on Monday, Aug. 31.

However, even though there were employees inside the restaurant at the time of the fire, Mac and Bob’s was closed at the time because of five staff members testing positive for COVID-19.

While the restaurant’s website says they originally planned to reopen for pickup and curbside service on Tuesday, Sept. 1 before reopening at half-capacity both inside and outside on Sept. 16, the electrical fire halted such plans.

In addition, before the pandemic, Mac and Bob’s had just gotten through a class action lawsuit. The co-owner says it’s been tough, but support from the community has been encouraging.

“Within an hour-and-a-half, people were already putting things on my porch,” said Mac and Bob’s co-owner, Bob Rotanz. “So this is a great community to live in. We got great customers and that’s what’s helping us get through this whole thing.”

The restaurant staff still hopes to reopen the inside of Mac and Bob’s on Sept. 16.

“Things will look a little different, but we’re hoping to open up as soon as possible! We’ll keep posting our progress,” Mac and Bob’s posted on Facebook on Wednesday, Sept. 2. “Thank you for all your kind words – fortunately, damage was minimal. The Salem Fire & EMS Department got there in no time, so there is no structural damage.”

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