Hollywood Bar is torn down

Investigators continue to look for person who started the fire

THE WEST wall of the Hollywood is torn down Tuesday evening, by midweek, no exterior walls were standing of the Hollywood Bar and Grill, which was burned down by arson late Aug. 2.

A small group of people watched this week as heavy machinery tore down a piece of history.

“It’s sad,” they would shake their heads. “So sad.”

Bucketfuls of the Hollywood Bar and Grill were dumped into waiting bins to be hauled off. They were bucketfuls of memories to some a new beginning to others.

“I have to rebuild the bar, I don’t know what else to do,” said part owner/manager Travis Giddings as he watched former bartender Lara Branca try to salvage what she could, a pressed tin panel here, a rock there.

“I just don’t know what else to do,” Giddings said.

But a pending investigation to who committed the arson that burned down both the Hollywood and the neighboring Fusion Studios late Aug. 2 and insurance payments have left both Giddings and Texan Owner Louis Sims unable to pinpoint a time line to a rebuild.

Giddings told a large audience during Escalante Days that he plans to rebuild, he just doesn’t know when. The Texan owner also owns and operates several auto parts stores in Texas and has also been busy with those.

Crews began later this week, tearing down Fusion Studios. When contacted last week, owner Ruth Hensen was unsure about rebuilding.

Lt. Ted Meador with the Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office said the two-month-old case is still under investigation.

“It is still actively being investigated with no leads,” Meador said.

The bar was equipped with high-tech security cameras, but the hard drive for the cameras was burned in the fire, Meador said.

Meador said Thursday that detectives discovered after taking the hard drive to experts that no information could be retrieved from the hard drive. Nothing could be recovered.

How to help;

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation is offering up to $5,000 for information that will lead to the person or persons responsible for the fire that led to the destruction of the Hollywood Bar and Fusion Studios. Call 1-800-89-ARSON if you have information.