Stone Mill Bakery shuts down for repairs after weekend fire

No timetable determined yet for the reopening of popular Roland Park shop

March 02, 2004|By Jamie Stiehm | Jamie Stiehm,SUN STAFF

A weekend blaze that damaged one of Roland Park's busiest lunchtime destinations has forced owners to close the business as workers repair smoke, fire and possibly structural damage.

The Stone Mill Bakery in the 5100 block of Roland Ave. remained dark and boarded up yesterday as people passing by paused to take in the scene. The usually bustling cafe, often filled during breakfast and lunch, appeared desolate.

Located near the corner of a cluster of shops where residents gather, the bakery had a one-alarm basement fire at 2:30 a.m. Saturday, Baltimore fire officials said. The fire was brought under control about an hour later, fire officials said, with smoke damage affecting some neighboring commercial structures. No injuries were reported.

Alfie Himmelrich, owner of the cafe, said Stone Mill breads and other goods are baked at other sites, so the business will not be entirely disrupted. But he expressed frustration that the recently remodeled bakery would be closed for an indefinite period.

Shelley Wiglesworth, co-owner of neighboring Uncle Wiggly's ice cream shop, said that she and her husband had just reopened the store a week ago. She said the business suffered water and smoke damage and that it would be closed for several months for repairs.

Nancy Cohen, owner of the nearby Eddie's of Roland Park grocery store, also owns the building where the bakery is located. She said the bakery will be repaired and re-opened as quickly as possible, but did not specify a timetable.

An electrical panel set off the fire, Cohen said.

Firefighters used a next-door office, also owned by Eddie's, to gain access to the fire. Cohen said her office staff would have to be temporarily relocated to other quarters because of the smoke damage and debris left.

Cohen, who came to the fire scene, said the result could have been worse. "There are some disappointed community members, but we're lucky the building is still standing," she said.

Several passers-by said the closed bakery put a crimp in their daily rituals.

Stephany Harper stared at the closed bakery with dismay as she held her dog Tudor on a leash. "I usually stop and get a cappuccino here," she said.

Two eighth-grade girls from Roland Park Middle School, Cat Kearney and Amanda Morell, said the bakery was a place for them to go and eat pastries, undisturbed by daily issues.

"We hang out there before and after school sometimes," Cat Kearney, 13, said. "Oh, well."

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