The blaze at the Bali Hai restaurant shut down Wake Forest Road between Creekside Drive and E. Whitaker Mill Road for a time. The fire was first reported just after 6:30 a.m. Heavy smoke pouring from the building was visible for miles.
While no one was hurt, regular customers were saddened by the loss.
"We have a group from church that comes here, and they actually posted on Facebook, letting everyone know it had burned down," said diner Chris Parrish. "They're really great people and it's a sad loss, for what they're going through."
Owner Isaac Park said he's hearing from many people like Parrish on Facebook.
"My phone is practically backed up now. I can't even get into my wall, so many people are expressing their condolences," he explained.
Parrish said he's been eating at Bali Hai for 19 years, including birthday parties for his daughter. She said she's also sad about the loss.
"Cause I know that it's a very hard struggle for them. Because their parents used to own this store and then they took over it, so I feel kind of broken hearted," said Josclyn Parrish.
While investigators said the cause of the blaze was determined to be accidental, Park said fire investigators initially asked him about any known enemies.
"Maybe we made somebody's food too spicy!" he joked.
But Park was serious when he spoke about the legacy of his business - which has survived four floods.
"We're impenetrable, and we're gonna rise like a phoenix. We'll be back soon, and we'll let you know," he said.