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Local businesses suffering one month after Majestic Building Fire downtown

The owner of Taste of Jerusalem Cafe says he just wants to get back to making people smile
Posted at 7:20 PM, Jan 08, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-08 21:20:40-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — Local small businesses in Downtown Colorado Springs are still closed after a fire at the Majestic Building on Bijou St. in early December.

Investigators say the cause of that fire was accidental, as an electrical problem in a refrigerator caught fire in the Taste of Jerusalem Cafe.

"It's hard for us to see the place you built from the ground up... and overnight it's gone," said Abdul Nasser, owner of Taste of Jerusalem.

For the last 15 years, Nasser and his family have been feeding thousands in Colorado Springs, along with those less fortunate looking for a meal. A sign on his door reads "Hungry, no money? No problem. Come on in." This generosity was recognized by News5 with a Jefferson Award back in 2022.

WATCH: JEFFERSON AWARD: ABDUL NASSER

Jefferson Award: Abdul Nasser

"We were serving between 1,000-1,400 a month of the displaced people, and people who need the meals for the community. That, unfortunately, we can't do anymore, we can't help anybody," Nasser solemnly told me.

The Colorado Springs Fire Department says the fire inside the Majestic Building had started to spread between the first and second floor of the building, according to spokesperson Ashley Franco.

"They [old buildings] leave a little space sometimes, so if you imagine there's a 12-foot ceiling, they go in and put drywall maybe 10 feet up. So there's about two feet of storage area and that's where the fire crept between," said Franco.

In the meantime, stores like Yobel, The Local Honey Collective, and Icons, an LGBTQ+ bar, have shut their doors with Taste of Jerusalem. Yobel and The Local Honey Co. have both said that the smoke from the fire has ruined their existing inventory.

Nasser says he and the other business owners on the street are waiting to get back to doing what they love. Property Management company Olive Real Estate Group has said that repairs to the building could take 12 months or longer. All businesses, besides Shame and Regret and To The Grave Tattoo, have been asked to leave their suites by the end of January.

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