ZJ’s restaurant, which had been closed for a year reopened last night to the delight of local residents. The restaurant was packed with locals enjoying the fact that they had a restaurant again and that it was a good one at that. But a few hours later that excitement literally went up in smoke. Sometime around midnight a presumed electrical problem created a fire that evenually gutted the building.
Every Eastland County Fire Department as well as those from Gustine, Proctor, Erath County and DeLeon responded to the call but there was no saving the ZJ’s building. The battle did save the buildings on each side that adjoined ZJ’s and no one was injured in the fire.
Norman Zedina, his daughter Mary and his brother Thomas just took over the restaurant a couple of months ago. They were hoping that a restaurant in Gorman would do better than the restaurant and catering businesses they have in Dallas. The plan was for Thomas Zedina to live in Gorman and be the chef for the restaurant. They had converted the northeast end of the building into an apartment. It was near that end of the building that the fire started.
Mary Zedina said that they had no insurance. When asked if she thought they would try to open another restaurant in Gorman, Mary replied, “Probably not. This was it. This was our one shot.”
Fire photo credit: Bob Powell