OPELIKA, AL (WTVM) - On a normal day, the parking lot of Veggies to Go in Opelika, AL would be full. Friday, it was empty.
Caution tape surrounds the building after a fire destroyed the East Alabama Restaurant Thursday night.
Loyal customer, Mike Adams, described the restaurant, "It has god customer service. They have good people. We have been eating here probably about 3-4 years."
15 firefighters responded to the scene where heavy smoke was coming from the building and quickly put the fire out. There was significant damage to the inside, "Pretty good fire damage, smoke, heat and water. They are going to be closed for a while. There are a lot of cosmetic issues that they are going to have to take care of," explained Kerry Pickard, Opelika Assistant Fire Inspector.
Investigators were called in, but officials have not determined where the fire started.
The Opelika Police department has gotten involved, calling it a criminal matter. Captain Allan Elkins said they are investigating it as a possible burglary and arson. "It was apparent upon arrival the back door of the business and apparently force had been used to do such," he explained.
A small kitchen fire at the restaurant on Monday night is also under investigation.
There is no time frame for when the investigation will be completed or when Veggies to Go will be open again.