Fire in North Bend destroys restaurant and canoe rental shop

NORTH BEND, Wis. (WKBT) – A structure fire destroyed the the Black Pearl Lounge & North Bend Canoe Rental, also known as the Riverview Inn, in North Bend Saturday afternoon.

Melrose Fire Department chief Tim Kunes says the department was dispatched at 3:05 p.m. Saturday to an initial call of a grassfire, but was later told it was a structure fire at the restaurant.

Kunes says there was a burn barrel near the building before the fire started. He suspects high winds blowing towards the building caused the fire from the burn barrel to spread and eventually engulf the building.

The restaurant’s owners were at home when the fire started.

Kunes says the restaurant has been around since the 1970s and was in the process of being remodeled. The owners also ran a canoe business below the restaurant.

“It’s been a staple in North Bend,” Kunes said. “The Riverview Inn has been here for many, many years. Served thousands of people, lot of them from the south. And that’s how fast it goes, unfortunately. It’s a sad day in North Bend. Again, it was an important structure.”

Kunes says there are no injuries from the fire.

The building is a total loss.

The Black River Falls and Farmington Fire Departments provided mutual aid at the scene.

The official cause of the fire remains under investigation.