Walton County – In the early morning hours of February 13, the internationally-known Walton County landmark The Red Bar caught fire and is considered a total loss. Owners Oliver “Oli” and Phillippe Petit have already vowed to rebuild. Please see below for a statement from The Red Bar’s co-owner, Oli Petit, and Walton County District 5 Commissioner Tony Anderson.
Walton County District 5 Commissioner Tony Anderson has provided the following statement:
“In light of this tragedy, my thoughts go out to the Petit family, as well as the employees of the Red Bar, many of whom have become close friends over the years. I remember when the Red Bar first opened, and like many long-time locals I’ve been a loyal patron ever since – it’s a place where many memories are made, friendships formed, and of course, good meals enjoyed. It’s the reason many people discovered Grayton Beach, and as such I consider it to be a true Walton County landmark.
“In the midst of the sadness of its destruction today in a fire, I am committed to doing everything I can as a County Commissioner to see the Red Bar rebuilt and restored. Walton County is made better by our truly authentic places and businesses, and the recognition of such led to language being adopted into the county regulations in 2011 to ensure the protection of the right of these types of historic establishments to rebuild in the event of this type of tragedy.
“My office is already busy working with other county staff to help make sure the path is open to the Petit family to restore The Red Bar, and ensure that current residents, visitors and future generations have the chance to make memories like the ones that so many of us cherish.”
During a meeting with Walton County staff, Red Bar co-owner Oliver “Oli” Petit made the following statement:
“On behalf of my family and the staff of The Red Bar, I want to thank the community for the tremendous outpouring of support that we have already received. It means a lot to me that we live in a county where our leaders recognize the importance of our shared history, and the efforts so many of us make to shape our community in a positive and unique way.
“I want to tell our patrons and my staff that we will be back, and we will rebuild to the exact previous specifications – maybe with a better bathroom. Life goes on.”