BALTIMORE - For those of you who know the Mt. Washington Tavern, for the scores of people that it knew, it is now a total loss.
The two alarm fire collapsed the second floor onto the first on Monday.
Water then rushed out the door as fast as the memories the tavern helped build.
"Not good. It's horrible."
Owner Rob Frisch is reflecting not just as the owner for the past four years, but an employee for more than 20 before that.
The roots here run just that deep.
"We're friends with everybody here. We have so many friends and regular customers. It has a lot of tradition. The tavern is 32 years old this November and it means a lot to a lot of people," said Frisch.
And that was evidenced by the number of people lined up behind the yellow tape to look at it themselves.
"I mean we would come here a couple of times a year at least and it's sad to see. It's an institution," said regular Mark Thompson.
It is a sight attracting regulars from nearby and as far away as City Hall.
"I can't tell you how many times I've been in the tavern," said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. "It's a staple in the community so I just wanted to stop by and take a look to see how much damage there was and to check on the firefighters out here working on it. [Maybe not so much as the mayor but more of a resident with this place?] Yeah, definitely."
Because they knew her name, but they knew yours too.
This tavern was that kind of place; a familiar destination, a comfortable spot.
The kind of atmosphere the owners said they will start to recreate as soon as the firemen turn off their hoses.
The Mt. Washington Tavern employees about 70 people.
It is all the more reason why the owner told us today he has already reached out to contractors to start the rebuild.
Fire investigators are still investigating the cause.