Hermann's Bakery Reopens Nearly a Week After Next-Door Roof Collapse
La Feast and Beyond Juice are still closed after a roof collapse at La Feast last Saturday; engineer clears way for bakery to reopen.
Hermann's Bakery reopened at 9 a.m. Friday after being closed for nearly a week after a roof collapse at La Feast, the restaurant next door.
Hermann’s Bakery was one of three businesses that waited for the findings of an independent structural engineer to learn when they could reopen after Saturday's roof collapse at La Feast restaurant on South Main Street.
Pam Stodola, the bakery’s manager, said the owners of three buildings met on Monday at the fire department where they were told an independent structural engineer would determine if the roof collapse affected the stability of the walls of each building.
On Wednesday, Hermann’s learned its building was safe to occupy. Stodola said employees came back to work on Thursday and baked overnight to restock shelves.
The manager says it was a challenging week. “It’s not like we knew the store would be closed for a week and we just went on with our lives,” she said. “We spent a lot of time trying to get answers. We would be on the phone all day and then at night — I would have to call all the employees and tell them not to come to work the next day.”
Stodola was in the bakery when La Feast’s roof collapsed last Saturday. She said she heard loud noises coming from roof next door. “It sounded like they were moving heavy equipment and then I heard a roar — a loud rolling sound," she said. When she and others checked on their neighbors, they saw water pouring out of the building.
Hermann’s was built in 1902 and the La Feast building in 1908. For a century, they shared a common wall which supported both roofs. Stodola says owner Richard Hermann knew about the wall.
Jason Craig, the city's chief building official, said any rebuilding will require the new structure to meet current codes — any new construction must have its own load-bearing walls.
Stodola says she welcomes new walls, which will prevent noise and odors from passing from building to building.
“Sometimes when they were cooking, smoke would come through the walls and it would make our building smell like something was burning,” she said.
The manager is glad to get through this day. “Many of our customers only come on Friday to pick up their orders,” she said. “They don’t know what happened, or that we have been closed for a week. I have had to tell the same story over and over today.”
Beyond Juice and La Feast both remain closed. Craig said he has not received a letter (engineer's report) from the owners of those two buildings stating the structures are safe. Beyond Juice leases its space; the owner of that building needs to sign off on reopening.
"I got a call from the owner of Beyond Juice asking if they could reopen because they noticed Hermann's was," said Craig. "I told him I need a letter from the owner of the building saying it's safe." Beyond Juice leases their building space.