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Troubadour Restaurant's bandstand destroyed by fire

April 13, 2008|By TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. -- The bandstand in the park at the Troubadour Restaurant and Lounge on Highland Ridge Road was destroyed Friday night in a fire.

Jim McCoy, owner of the Troubadour, said he thought lightning caused the fire, which started about 6:30 p.m. Fire departments left the scene about 9 p.m., he said.

The Troubadour recording studio next to the bandstand was not damaged, McCoy said.

James Steiner, assistant chief of the Berkeley Springs Fire Department, said the fire caused about $30,000 in damage.

McCoy said the inside of the bandstand was filled with outdoor furniture used in the park during the summer, and the attached wooden shed stored booths, ceiling fans and other dining room equipment that was to be used in the restaurant.

Before the fire was extinguished, several men came up to McCoy and offered their assistance to help rebuild the bandstand.

The roofed bandstand will be rebuilt, "hopefully in time by the Memorial Day weekend celebration," McCoy said.

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McCoy estimated the cost to rebuild it would be about $8,000 for the materials. He said the bandstand and the shed were not insured.

The park includes a large grassy area for seating, an outdoor grill in the shape of a six-shooter, a bar and the recording studio trailer. Live music was performed in the 24-foot-by-36-foot bandstand, and customers can eat outside between Memorial Day and Labor Day, McCoy said.

McCoy, who turned 79 Friday, spent much of his life as a struggling country music singer and songwriter. He named the Troubadour after singer Ernest Tubb, known as "The Texas Troubadour," who inspired him, he said.

The club is filled with country music memorabilia and McCoy's personal picture collection from more than 60 years in the business.

The Troubadour Lounge is the home of the West Virginia Country Music Hall of Fame.

"It could have been a lot worse," McCoy said. "I did not lose any memorabilia."

Steiner said other Morgan County responders were the South Morgan Fire Department, Great Cacapon Fire Department and Morgan County Rescue Service. The Hancock Fire Department in Washington County and Back Creek Valley Fire Department in Berkeley County, W.Va., also responded.

Mark Miller, fire chief of the South Morgan Fire Department, said with no access to public water, multiple fire companies responded to bring water to the scene.

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