After fire, Sign of the Whale owner wants to rebuild ‘as soon as possible’

The owner of a well-known bar in Northwest D.C. said his plan is to rebuild “as soon as possible” after a fire broke out at his business last week.

Sign of the Whale, near M Street and Connecticut Avenue in the Dupont Circle area, caught fire Wednesday afternoon.

“We are working through the insurance right now,” said owner Vik Bhalla.

The business has three levels, and the fire broke out on the third floor, which suffered considerable damage.

“A lot of smoke damage was there,” Bhalla said. “The rest of it was water damage from when they were trying to put the fire out.”

There were no injuries and the fire didn’t spread to neighboring buildings, fire officials said.

Bhalla said the main bar area was not heavily damaged.

“The fire damage is going to get cleaned out and then we are going to find out what the actual reason for the fire was,” said Bhalla. “We are still going through the investigation.”

Bhalla said he does not yet know how much the damage will cost him financially.

On social media, the business wrote that it had set up a GoFundMe page “to help both our staff and establishment as we go through the rebuilding process.”

“Starting the process of repairs will take time, and the damages will be costly,” the business said.

Bhalla, who also owns a nearby bar called Nero, has been holding fundraisers there, featuring some of the same specials and bartenders from Sign of the Whale.

Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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