A fire that broke out in Collingwood restaurant Bluebonnet Barbecue on Wednesday evening has damaged both the restaurant and the furniture store next door. Both businesses have ceased trade temporarily.

The blaze spread from the firebox, which is used to heat the restaurant’s smoker as meat cooks overnight.

Owner Chris Terlikar, who lives upstairs, recalls waking up around 50 minutes after stacking the firebox with wood and leaving it alight, to find the restaurant’s courtyard “all orange”. Within 15 minutes, he says, four firetrucks and 22 firefighters were on the scene. The back of the restaurant has been damaged and the smoker is destroyed.

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The blaze spread next door to 189 Johnston Street, which operates as a furniture store and workshop.

Terlikar says he plans to launch a Pozible campaign to help fund repairs at the furniture store.

The front of Bluebonnet escaped damage. Terlikar hopes to be able to trade within that area as soon as possible.

Last week, Bluebonnet commenced its residency at the John Curtin Hotel in Carlton (where it took over from Huxtaburger). The Curtin pop up has been temporarily halted, but will recommence with dinner service on Thursday. Reservations can be made through Dimmi or directly through the Curtin.

Terlikar plans to continue trading at the Curtin until full repairs are made in Collingwood, which may take two to six months.

Bluebonnet Barbecue at the John Curtin Hotel

29 Lygon Street, Carlton

Open for dinner daily from 5pm–11pm and for lunch on Fridays and Saturdays from 12pm to 3.30pm.