East Bay bar owner: 'We will be back'

Looking from above down into what's left of 213 East Bay Street.

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Squeeze owner Clint Gaskins said Friday that his bar and its three neighbors will rebuild. Squeeze, along with Speakeasy, Brick and Light, burned down in an early-morning fire April 2.

Gaskins said contractors are currently doing demolition clean-up. He said the group, Belfor Property Restoration, recently restored Ellis Island after Hurricane Sandy. Belfor estimated it would take between six months and a year to rebuild the property, Gaskins said.

He said the more realistic timeline would be closer to a year.

The fire marshal just completed its investigation a couple days ago, Gaskins said.

He said he could not get in to the burnt-out building until Tuesday because investigators had to wait to enter the area because it was deemed unsafe. Gaskins was unsure whether they were able to determine a fire cause, given the three-week delay in getting inside the building while engineers worked to determine the building's safety, he said.

Gaskins on Friday salvaged anything he could from the bar. He took out a few truck loads that included restaurant equipment, including a kitchen sink.

Next door, Mac's Place also had several thousand dollars worth of damage, according to owner Garret McNally. He said the bar also had to close for about three days after the fire, but opened in time for the Cooper River Bridge Run.

He was happy to hear the East Bay block will be back to normal in due time.

"Everyone is excited to come back and come back stronger than before," he said.

ABCNews4 also reached out to the fire marshal regarding the investigation and cause. The fire marshal has not yet responded.