Red Bay Grocery sustains major damage from fire

January 18, 2011

Fire crews works on removing metal roof at Red Bay Grocery Jan. 18. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

Future uncertain for popular grocery and restaurant

Red Bay Grocery, a favorite gathering place in Walton County has a uncertain future as a major fire and water damage destroyed much of building on Jan. 18, 2011.

What started as smoke coming out of the top front of the structure around 10:30 a.m., spread quickly throughout the wood frame building’s attic space.

Fire crews from Walton County, Arglye and Freeport battled the blaze and continued to work on the structure throughout the afternoon.

Originally built in 1936, the building is owned by Ed Gomillion who lives next door with his wife Agnes.

Ed Gomillion, owner of the Red Bay Grocery building looks on as firefighters battle the blaze. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

“I’m not sure what we are going to do, we’ll just have to wait as see,” Ed said about rebuilding.

Katie Barrineau, manager of Red Bay Grocery was not sure what the future will bring either.

“It’s got a lot of fire and water damage, and the building is very old,” Katie said.

No injuries were reported.

Red Bay Grocery has been a favorite gathering place for Walton County residents since its renovation in 2009.

About Red Bay Grocery:
Red Bay Grocery has been in operation since 1936. The store has had 28 different owners over the years, and then closed in 2008, leaving the community without a gathering spot.

In Feb. 2009, Charles Morgan, a seasoned restaurateur and homeowner in Red Bay, rallied 50 local partners, and brought the country store back to life.

With a community interest in restoring and bringing back the community spirit, Red Bay Grocery was cleaned up, painted and given new life by the community it serves. The store now has 100 shareholders.