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Three-alarm fire destroys Jilly’s restaurant in Baltimore County: ‘Pikesville took a huge L’

A three-alarm fire destroyed the popular Jilly’s Bar & Grill in Pikesville early Wednesday morning, Baltimore County officials said.

The building, in the 1100 block of Reisterstown Road, collapsed around 4:35 a.m. Wednesday, according to the Baltimore County Fire Department. Four additional fire crews were called at 4:43 a.m. because the strong blaze was spreading to buildings next to the restaurant. No injuries were reported.

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The fire was brought under control around 6:30 a.m., the fire department said on Twitter. Baltimore County Police fire investigators were brought in to inspect the building and try to determine the cause of the fire.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives officials also are investigating the origin and cause of the blaze, said spokeswoman Amanda Hils. The ATF’s fire investigators typically deploy to identify, collect and analyze any potential arson-related evidence.

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As of noon Wednesday, fire crews were still on the scene, putting out hot spots.

The restaurant and its owner, Scott Reich, did not respond to requests for comment via Facebook and a number listed for Reich.

Late Wednesday, he posted on Facebook: "As you have seen, or heard by now, our establishment has suffered a devastating loss due to a fire that started around 3:30am on Wednesday 10/28. Our building is gone, and at the moment have no other information to offer... we will be closed until further notice.

As more information comes to light, and plans are discussed and determined, we will post and keep all of you up to date.

At this time, we’d like to thank everyone for their kind words, prayers, and support."

Denise Williams, a nearby Baltimore County resident, was heartbroken to see the restaurant burn down. Williams and her late mother loved Jilly’s wings and ribs.

“My heart is literally shattered. I’ve been frequenting that spot for decades,” Williams said. “I could take her to the top restaurants in the city and she would always end the dinner with, ‘that was nice but we could have gone to Jilly’s and had ribs.’”

One of her daughters, now an adult expecting a child of her own, got her first job at Jilly’s and, she said, the staff was “amazing.” Her family celebrated birthdays, job promotions and graduations at the restaurant.

“The part that hurts the most is that on those horrible days you could always go there and be embraced,” Williams said. “Pikesville took a huge L.”

In a Facebook post early Wednesday morning, Del. Lisa Belcastro, a Democrat who represents Baltimore County, lamented the damage to the restaurant.

“Jilly’s is a mainstay of the Pikesville community,” she wrote. “This will be sad news to many.”

Beth Perry, an Owings Mills resident who has eaten at Jilly’s for 20 years, said the restaurant’s owner and staff always had been very welcoming and caring toward their customers. She even bought a few Jilly’s mugs for her house.

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“We have no outstanding family-owned places to go that have the quality or diversity of food that Jilly’s had,” Perry said. “We pray that it is rebuilt.”

Baltimore’s Amanda Quamina said she has been to Jilly’s several times since 2006.

She loved their craft beer menu, salads and wings — so much so that her sister gave two orders of wings, one buffalo and one barbecue-flavored, for her birthday this year.

Regis Cottman, a Baltimore resident who has been eating at the restaurant for eight years, said the bar had good food and a family atmosphere. He often would go there with friends.

“They would treat us like family,” Cottman said. “It was a great place to catch a game and it was convenient. I’m sad to see it destroyed but I hope that it comes back better than ever.”

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