Midtown’s Traffic Jam restaurant damaged by fire


Harris described the damage as “fairly extensive”, but said the extent was still being determined, as was the cause and point of origin.

“At this point, we are conducting a thorough investigation,” Harris said. “There is quite a lot of damage but it may not be a total loss.”

Traffic Jam is owned by Detroit developer Scott Lowell, who was overseas at the time of the fire.

When reached by a Crain reporter early Friday morning, Lowell said he was on the border of Poland and Ukraine helping refugees from Russia’s months-long assault on the ‘Ukraine. He said he had just booked a flight to Detroit to deal with the aftermath of the fire.

Lowell said he received a text around 2 a.m. Detroit time that the fire alarm had gone off. He said no one was in the building at the time and did not know the cause of the fire.

The owner told Crain’s he would like to reopen his beloved business. “We want to reopen tomorrow,” he said optimistically.

But it will be some time before Traffic Jam can reopen. The building is heavily damaged after flames burst through the roof and windows were shattered during firefighting efforts.

Additional details are expected later this morning. Harris said the fire is not being considered suspicious at this time.

The blaze took about 2.5 hours to bring under control, Harris said, noting that no firefighters or members of the public were injured.

Traffic Jam is at the end of a popular block of shops and restaurants on West Canfield Street, including Shinola Detroit, Third Man Records, Jolly Pumpkin Pizzeria & Brewery, and Bon Bon Bon. Across the street are Motor City Brewing Works and retailers Nest and City Bird.

Harris said Friday morning that nearby businesses suffered no damage.

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