Fire damaged an Elgin Street institution on Friday.Ottawa Fire Services said a blaze at Al’s Steakhouse was contained to an electrical panel, but the rest of the building was filled with smoke.A fire services statement said the fire was reported at 4:13 p.m. and was under control by 6 p.m. The electrical panel was reportedly still arcing and filling the building with a high voltage, preventing firefighters from checking for extensions of the blaze until Ottawa Hydro could shut off the power supply.
An Ottawa Fire Services photo from the scene of a fire at Al’s Steakhouse on Elgin Street on Friday afternoon.
Scott Stilborn, Ottawa Fire Services /
A call to the restaurant on Friday evening was not answered. The restaurant is marking its 52nd year of operations this year, making it something of a culinary landmark in Ottawa.It was founded by Al Saikali, who attained local fame through both the restaurant’s fare and its clientele, rich with politicians and other celebrities.Saikali died in March 2016 from a head injury in Florida. He was 88.