Local bar closed after fire last week


March 11, 2015

Michael Riley


A fire at Fat Jacks Sports Bar & Grill on the morning of March 5 caused an estimated $125,000 in damages but no injuries were reported.

The Whitewater Fire Department arrived at 7:42 a.m. at the 146 W. Main St. tavern after a call alerted authorities to smoke coming from the two-story building.

Firefighters found heavy smoke inside the building, but the fire was contained within about 15 minutes according to a Whitewater Fire Department press release.

The fire started in a dishwasher behind the bar, according to the same release.

Rock and Walworth County fire departments were asked to assist, but the call was soon canceled.

The family-run business is owned by Mark and Dawn Wokasch, who took over in 2009.

Owners and employees gathered for a meeting later on March 5 to discuss what had happened.

UW-Whitewater sophomore and accounting major Sam Bryan is a cook at Fat Jacks and found about the damages about two hours after the fire had subsided.

It was only a few hours before his shift would have started.

“I was simply shocked,” Bryan said. “Fat Jacks was not only a place I worked, but a place I made friends and made memories with my coworkers and owners.”

A weekly Trivia Tuesday Night and a Wing Wednesday deal attract local communties members.

Fellow cook Michael Colt said damages and figures were not discussed at the meeting because they have a contractor coming in this week.

“It’s saddening to see something like this happen to people I care about,” Bryan said.