Officials say fire at Mudgie’s Deli in Detroit’s Corktown was arson: ‘They’ve been through enough’

Owner says prep kitchen was destroyed

Investigators are convinced the fire at Mudgie's Deli and Wine bar in Corktown was intentionally set. Fire crews were called to the restaurant twice Thursday (March 10), the first at 4 a.m. and then again at 9 a.m. Now the big questions are who did it and why.

DETROIT – Investigators are convinced the fire at Mudgie’s Deli and Wine Bar in Corktown was intentionally set. The big question is, who did it and why?

The Detroit Fire Department was called to the restaurant twice on Thursday (March 10). The first time was at 4 a.m. and the second time was at 9 a.m.

In a Facebook post, the deli explained the fire won’t keep them down for long. Customers are happy to see it.

Read: Officials investigate fire at Mudgie’s Deli in Detroit’s Corktown

“They’ve been through enough this last year,” said John Barth, who lives nearby.

The neighborhood has watched Mudgie’s face challenge after challenge. First it was the COVID pandemic, which hasn’t been easy on any small business. Then in September, owner Greg Mudge died.

Read: ‘The heart of Corktown’: Owner of Mudgie’s Deli in Detroit dies unexpectedly at 46 years old

“That was a really hard blow on the community and so the community kind of rallied around them and it’s good to see they are able to consistently bounce back,” said Barth.

Now Mudgie’s is dealing with cleaning up the damage left from the fire. The current owner said the prep kitchen is destroyed.

Some customers were concerned the deli wouldn’t reopen.

“Well Taqueria El Rey had a fire, they’re closed so we were thinking, ‘Oh here’s another place,’” said Andy Hatzilias

The two businesses are two miles apart but Detroit Fire Department says Taqueria El Rey’s fire was an accident. Mudgie’s was intentionally set from the outside.

It’s an upsetting detail for people like Jake Thompson, who eats at Mudgie’s often.

“Mudgies is a staple here in Detroit. It’s just sad that anybody would want to try to do something like that,” said Thompson.

Mudgie’s was closed Thursday but reopened Friday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., carry out only.

“As soon as I saw it on Instagram that they were open I was like ‘I gotta get some Mudgies,’” Thompson said.

Reopening this soon brought hope.

“So many places have closed up that are favorites and places we’ve gone to for years so it’s wonderful that they’re still around,” said Hatzilias

Thompson looks at it as a way to show his appreciation and support.

“I just come to Mudgie’s because I love the people and the food and the employees that work here and everything like that. So I’ll support them in whatever scenario its going to be.”

About the Author:

Megan Woods is thrilled to be back home and reporting at Local 4. She joined the team in September 2021. Before returning to Michigan, Megan reported at stations across the country including Northern Michigan, Southwest Louisiana and a sister station in Southwest Virginia.