On August 15, 2022, Local Profile reported that a fire broke out in downtown McKinney, Texas. The fire started in the alley behind popular restaurants Rick’s Chophouse and Rye. 

“Firefighters arrived to find a fire in an alley courtyard between two businesses near the hotel,” the city of McKinney stated in an official announcement at the time. “Everyone was evacuated from the adjacent buildings and firefighters extinguished the fire.” 

Above is a photo that Local Profile‘s Sarah Hornstein took on August 17, 2022. In the photo, it’s possible to see the extent of the damage the fire caused in the alley. 

The outside walls were charred, and the flames caused some interior damage at Rye, the city added. Rye, which is located in a historic building that’s over 160 years old, was closed and has not opened since. 

But owner Tanner Agar told NBCDFW that it could be six months before Rye resumes business. 

“A day I would’ve never remembered has become a day I will never forget. The call is just, ‘The restaurant is on fire. You need to come now,'” said Agar. It is still unclear what caused the fire, and Agar and his restaurant have been cleared of any wrongdoing. The city of McKinney’s fire department has been investigating the incident.

In the meantime, Agar and his team are moving forward, buoyed by the support of Rye regulars. “I promise the version of Rye that comes back is going to be bigger,” said Agar. “It’s going to be better.”

“The McKinney Fire Department was created in 1887 after a devastating fire in the town square,” said McKinney Fire Chief Danny Kistner in an official statement when the fire broke out earlier this month. “Protecting this historic area continues to be a priority for our community 135 years later.”

Brian Ashcraft

A native of North Texas, Brian Ashcraft previously lived in Japan for over two decades. He has authored six books, including the award-winning Japanese Whisky and The Japanese Sake Bible. Prior to joining...