Chattanooga allows fire-damaged Lamar's to be repaired, avoid demolition

Staff Photo by Matt Hamilton / The remains of Lamar's Restaurant stand on Martin Luther King Boulevard on Tuesday, March 1, 2022.

A former Chattanooga hotel and restaurant that nearly burned down last Friday is being repaired this week to restore the structure and perhaps reopen the business in the future.

Lamar's restaurant and hotel, which closed in 2017 but has remained under the ownership of the Lamar Partridge family, was damaged Friday night when a fire erupted in the vacant structure and fire crews had to break windows to put out the blaze.

The fire was detected Friday by the battalion chief for District 1, who was driving in the area and spotted smoke and reported flames coming out two windows on the side of the building. The Chattanooga Fire Department said it dispatched a full commercial response and sounded a second alarm a few minutes later because of the size of the building and the growing fire.