Eastbourne burger restaurant vows to ‘come back stronger’ after devastating fire

The Half Man! Half Burger! team says they will come back stronger after a serious fire ripped through the restaurant in the early hours of Monday morning (July 29).

Friday, 2nd August 2019, 12:40 pm

The flames caused serious destruction in the popular Grove Road burger joint and have forced it to close for the foreseeable future.

Owner Matt Woodhouse said he was shocked and devastated by the blaze, believed to have been sparked by an electrics fault at about 3am. Luckily no-one was harmed.

Fire has caused extensive damage at Half Man! Half Burger! restaurant in Grove Road, Eastbourne. Pictured is owner Matt Woodhouse with Jade Leman, Caine Hemmingway and Max Blackford (Photo by Jon Rigby)
Fire has caused extensive damage at Half Man! Half Burger! restaurant in Grove Road, Eastbourne. Pictured is owner Matt Woodhouse with Jade Leman, Caine Hemmingway and Max Blackford (Photo by Jon Rigby)

He wrote on the restaurant’s Facebook page, “We are all devastated and are trying to find a way through it for the staff and the legion of Eastbourne burger fans. To all the people who have offered help, a sincere thanks.”

Staff member Caine Hemmingway has been helping with the clear up. He said, “We are trying to stay positive but I got in yesterday and just saw a lot of burnt dreams.

“We have got messages from lots of local customers, from Eastbourne to Canada.

“We have had so many people offering help in any way they can – offering storage, use of their restaurants, pop-up opportunities. People can see we are down and have given a lot of positivity.

Fire has caused extensive damage at Half Man! Half Burger! restaurant in Grove Road, Eastbourne. Pictured is owner Matt Woodhouse (Photo by Jon Rigby)

“It’s a disaster and it’s bad but we can keep going. We just want to say thank you.”

“Everybody just swarmed around,” said Jade Leman, manager. “We are going to come back and come back stronger.”

The pair say they hope to put on fundraisers for the restaurant.

And the plan for the business is to set up Half Man! Half Burger! on tour, serving their gourmet burgers and rosemary fries at events across the town – maybe even Airbourne. In the meantime staff are looking for employment.

Fire has caused extensive damage at Half Man! Half Burger! restaurant in Grove Road, Eastbourne. Pictured is owner Matt Woodhouse with Jade Leman, Caine Hemmingway and Max Blackford (Photo by Jon Rigby)

This comes just a few weeks after they donated all their tips from one Saturday night to Eastbourne Foodbank. Now the charity has offered its help to the business in its time of need.