Determined not to be without their Tennessee fries or Mo-Joe Hash for too long, community members have begun raising funds to help the owners of The Yolk restaurant in Rock Hill recover after a fire caused severe damage between Sunday night and Monday morning.
The fire began sometime between 10 p.m. Sunday and 5 a.m. Monday and caused extensive damage valued at anywhere between $50,000 and $75,000, said Charles Williamson, a fire investigator with the York County Fire Marshal’s Office.
The majority of the damage was caused by heat and smoke, Williamson said. A burst pipe put the fire out before anyone knew the building was on fire. There was no sprinkler or alarm system.
While restaurant owners Subrina and Greg Collier deal with insurance companies and fire inspectors and the burned interiorof their business, loyal diners have sprung into action.
Audrey Moore, a friend of the Colliers and The Yolk, created a GoFundMe site online for people to donate to help the restaurant recover.
Donors can earn incentives such as a Yolk mug, free coffee for the month of November and other items. The top award for a donor who gives $5,000 is a number of smaller prizes, a private seven-course dinner for four people and a Yolk menu item named in his or her honor.
By 7 a.m. Wednesday, the site had raised more than $3,500. Dozens of well-wishers were writing messages on The Yolk’s Facebook page.
“Sorry to hear! But your come-back (sic) will be epic, I’m sure!” wrote one patron.
The Colliers were not available for comment Tuesday, but put an extended post on their Facebook page, announcing they were planning to move to a new space in “the next few weeks ... so we can better serve our Rock Hill family.”
The plan had been to continue operating the Mount Gallant location while transitioning to the new space, the post said. But the fire means that a lot more new equipment, inventory and items will have to be purchased and the money that was intended to go to the new location will have to be diverted.
The exact location of the new restaurant was not disclosed.
“So stick with us #teamyolk and we will emerge better, stronger, and be a mainstay in this community for years to come,” the post said.
The Yolk opened in 2012 and quickly became a local favorite. In 2013, The Yolk received The Herald’s reader’s choice “Buzzie” award for Best Breakfast/Brunch.
The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control will oversee the clean-up effort.
While The Yolk reported in social media the cause of the fire was electrical, Williamson said the cause was under investigation, but electrical had not been ruled out.
The damage will prevent The Yolk from reopening in the immediate future, Williamson said.
On Facebook, fans of The Yolk expressed their sympathy and wishes that the restaurant recover quickly.