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Music community supports Sly Grog Lounge staff after fire leaves $100K in damages

By Andrew James

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    ASHEVILLE, North Carolina (WLOS) — The owners of an Asheville music venue damaged in a fire earlier this month say they are determined to rebuild.

“It’s really hard still to put in words,” said Sly Grog Lounge co-owner Theodore Crouse-Mann.

According to Crouse-Mann, the music venue suffered $100,000 in damages in a fire the morning of Dec. 2. He said it was caused by a blown seal on a gas heater.

“Most of the stuff inside is a complete loss basically; it was either heat, smoke damage, if it wasn’t actually directly damaged by the fire,” he said.

A GoFundMe donation account set up for Sly Grog employees has raised more than $9,000.

“I was able to pay rent for the holiday season, and a lot of stress, so I can eat and I don’t have to worry about my lights turning off,” said Brendan Lomas, bar manager.

On top of the damage, the venue was also forced to cancel 90 scheduled concerts. Other music venues in Asheville are holding benefit concerts to support Sly Grog Lounge in coming weeks.

“Everybody in Asheville has been so supportive and so eager to help, and we’re just so grateful for that,” said Spring Pearson.

The owners said they hope to reopen Sly Grog Lounge in six to eight months.

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