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CALABASH, NC (WWAY) — A fire heavily damaged a restaurant in Calabash overnight.

In an area that’s known for it’s restaurants, Coleman’s was a stand out.

Built in 1940, it was one of the first two restaurants in all of Calabash. Now, it’s not nearly as recognizable.

Sunday, a steady stream of folks were driving through to check out the damage.

Deanna Bullard says she was raised in Whiteville and grew up coming to Coleman’s with her family.

She stopped by Sunday planning to take her boyfriend to Coleman’s, her family’s favorite seafood place, but she was shocked when she saw what was left of the restaurant.
“This is like a landmark, it’s been around forever as far back as I can remember,” Bullard said. “I know my parents are gonna be shocked when I go back and tell them.”

Fourth generation owner Crystal Coleman-Nixon says she was told an electrical hot spot is to blame for the blaze.

The Calabash Fire Department says at 11:36 p.m. it and several other agencies responded to a fire at Coleman’s Original Calabash Restaurant at 9931 Nance Street. When they got there firefighters found smoke pouring from the roof of the building. They say flames broke through a short time later.

The fire department says crews battled the fire for a little more than an hour before bringing it under control. The fire damaged the roof and front of the business, but firefighters were able to save many irreplaceable family pictures and mementos belonging to the owners of the restaurant. No one was hurt.

Coleman-Nixon says she’s still hopeful. “At the end of the day, this is our life,” Coleman-Nixon said. “We’ll be back as soon as possible.”

Comment on this Story

  • suspicious 1

    Don’t forget the first restaurant that burned before Beck’s. It was probably 2 years ago, but still remembered.

  • haggler

    This is at least the third major fire in downtown Calabash in a little over a year. Coleman’s, Beck’s, the strip mall on Carter Drive. All after midnight. Premises always empty.

    Two’s a coincidence. Three’s a trend. The arson team might want to check into this.

  • Expdfd

    Arson squad? What a joke. Try to get them to call you back. Idiots. They seem to not want to solve even the most obvious intentional fires. I don’t know what was the cause was here but some of the others were a nobrainer.

  • Shaun Bellamy

    That would be Capt. Johns you are referring to- also a unfortunate ACCIDENT. And if you want to go back even further Capt Nances and Dockside have burned as well. Again, these are buildings that are several decades old with old wiring. Please people just know your facts before commenting.

  • suspicious 1

    How many restaurants are there in Calabash? How many have burned in Calabash in the past, say 3 years? How many restaurants in Wilmington? How many have burned in the past 3 years? See where this is going? As somebody else mentioned, 2 is a coincidence and 3 is a trend. Sum Tin Wong………..

  • sosa

    Im thinking it’s a insurance scam jus like all the other restaurants in that area. Believe me their going to rebuild a bigger better seafood joint.

  • Ashley

    That’s my aunts restaurant. Seriously?! She loved that place and it’s cause she was raised there with her granddaddy. You need to check yourself because she was proud that her restaurant was one of the only ones originally left standing. She was proud of that restaurant. Learn some respect for the hard working business owners.


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