Tune Inn, a prominent Pennsylvania dive bar, shut down Wednesday after a fire started in the kitchen early in the morning.
Employees just getting to work were able to call firefighters to the scene before the fire spread to the bar area but damage is still estimated to be around $75,000.
Owners say that apart from employee safety, salvaging 80 years of memorabilia was paramount.
"Lots of customers over the years, over eight decades, have donated things," said Lisa Nardelli, owner of the Tune Inn. "It's irreplaceable."
The bar's devotees swung by the landmark Wednesday to take snap shots of the historic hangout's damage. Many were devastated to learn that the bar had been in a fire.
"Oh I was heartbroken," said Anthony Demario. "It's an establishment, it's a D.C. fixture especially on the Hill."
The famed bar is known nationwide, having been featured on Food Network's Diner's Drive Ins and Dives.