Popular Florida Keys eatery destroyed by fire

Salty’s, at Mile Marker 47 near the Seven-Mile Bridge, was destroyed by an early morning Saturday fire.
Salty’s, at Mile Marker 47 near the Seven-Mile Bridge, was destroyed by an early morning Saturday fire.
Larry Kahn / KeysInfoNet.com

Salty’s, a popular Marathon restaurant and watering hole, was destroyed by a Saturday morning fire along with two charter fishing boats docked at an adjoining marina.

The fire at the bayside eatery, locatd at the 7 Mile Marina near the Seven Mile Bridge, erupted in flames about 3 a.m., hours after closing.

State Fire Marshal Wally Romero said the fire “doesn't look criminal, doesn't look like arson.”

Marathon Fire Chief John Johnson said it took about half an hour to get the fire completely under control.

The adjoining marina was damaged along with the charter boats, Finn's Up and the Wanted.

Investigators appeared to be focusing on the area where there was an aquarium, near the stage where musicians perform.

By daylight, some dock pilings were still smoldering but pretty much all that was left was the concrete frame of the three-story restaurant, whose roof was mostly tiki-hut style. The adjoining ship's shop was a pile of ashes.

Dan Rudacille, who runs Salty's with his wife Katie for property owners Paul and Peggy Bielik, said it was a normal Friday night when he left around 12:45 a.m.

“What a shame,” he said. The business is insured.

Salty's has been open for about three years.

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