Jay’s Seafood owner plans to rebuild after fire

Published 10:32 am Thursday, January 4, 2024

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Owners of Jay’s Seafood plan to rebuild after a fire tore through the more than 60-year-old building Wednesday morning.

Fire departments from Stanly, Cabarrus and Montgomery counties responded to the fire which began before 8 a.m.

East Side Volunteer Fire Department posted shortly before noon Wednesday on its Facebook page that the fire at Jay’s Seafood on Stony Gap Road in Albemarle was under control.

“Please keep the Stallings family and all the employees. This restaurant means so much to the community and is tough to see,” the post stated.

Albemarle Mayor Ronnie Michael offered comments as well Wednesday afternoon.

“So many of us have shared meals and made lasting memories at Jay’s Seafood on Stony Gap Road,” Michael said. “The restaurant has been a staple of our community for decades. Our thoughts are with those who were impacted by this morning’s fire.”

Eastside Fire Chief Jeff Craven told The Stanly News & Press Wednesday night the fire remains under investigation. He said the fire spread into the dining rooms, but he would not confirm where it began.

In an interview with The SNAP late Wednesday, owner Ned Stallings said his daughter-in-law Jilliam Stallings called the fire in on her way to work.

“We’ll fix it back up as soon as everything settles down,” Ned Stallings said.

“Everybody has been very supportive,” he said about the community’s response to the fire. “I hope everything works out. I can’t hardly believe it happened.”

He said as soon as they can get in to clean it out, Hurley’s Construction will start the rebuilding process. He said that, according to owner Darrell Hurley, construction could be completed in two months.

“I appreciate all of their support and hope that when we get it rebuilt and reopened, they’ll come back and support us again,” he said of his customers.

Jay’s Seafood Restaurant issued a statement thanking customers on its Facebook page late Wednesday night.

“We would just like to say thank you to each and every one of you that has called, messaged, showed up, or most importantly prayed for us today,” the statement began. “We are so grateful for all of the firefighters who showed up and worked tirelessly all day to help. Thank you! Our customers are like family to us and we can’t wait to serve you all again. Please follow along with us here for updates and continue to pray as we work towards reopening. We will see you SOON!”

The SNAP has reached out to the Stanly County Fire Marshal’s Office for more details on the cause and response to the fire.

Jay’s Seafood opened in the building on Stony Gap Road in 1967. Family members have also operated Jay’s Downtowner in Albemarle since 1980.

SNAP writer Charles Curcio contributed to this report.