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Willie Mae’s Releases a Statement Addressing the Monday Morning Fire

Proprietor Kerry Seaton-Stewart says they want to reopen the restaurant as soon as possible

A plate of crusty, dark fried chicken next to a bowl of red beans and rice topped with parsley.
Willie Mae’s  fried chicken and red beans and rice.
Randy Schmidt/Eater NOLA

Beloved fried chicken restaurant Willie Mae’s Scotch House suffered a tragedy on Monday, April 10, when a fire took over the building at 2401 St. Ann Street. Located on the edge of Treme, Willie Mae’s is a cultural institution in New Orleans and is beloved for having some of the best fried chicken in the city, if not the country. Opened in 1957 by Willie Mae Seaton, the establishment is now run by her great-granddaughter Kerry Seaton-Stewart.

The restaurant first announced a temporary closure after the fire, and then Seaton-Stewart released the following statement:

At 3am Monday morning we woke up to news that Willie Mae’s Scotch House was on fire. Thankfully no one was hurt as the restaurant was closed. After a thorough investigation we know an electrical fire triggered the sprinkler system and both left the restaurant severely damaged.

Thank you to the amazing first responders for their quick action. We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support from our community. To those who have generously asked how they can help, we have set up a Go Fund Me in which 100% of the proceeds will go towards paying our staff and covering any additional costs not covered by insurance. We look forward to reopening as soon as possible.

The GoFundMe is currently up to $2,465 of its $100,000 goal.