Updated: March 17, 2013 7:07PM
Soccer fans at a popular Old Town tavern safely escaped a smoky fire but missed a decisive goal — and lost their beers in the process.
The fire started about 3:30 p.m. at the bar at 455 W. North Ave., and black smoke could be seen billowing into the air from miles away.
Lincoln Square resident Martha Onate and friends visiting from Spain said they were watching a soccer match between Barcelona and Rayo Vallecano when a smoke alarm sounded and staff ushered the group outside.
Onate said she told the staff, “No, please, please, please, we have to wait. We want to see the goal.” she said.
Then they left their beers on the table hurried outside.
Firefighters doused a “small the fire on the roof” by 3:50 p.m., according to the fire department. Nobody was injured.
In a Twitter message, the bar said it’s “lucky” the fire was contained to the roof, and it planned to reopen at 7 p.m. Sunday.
After the blaze, employees were cleaning soot and water from a front room with a fireplace. A larger back room appeared in order, with tarps covering bottles of alcohol and beer taps.
The bar said via Twitter: “Thank you all for your concern. Everything is under control and everyone is okay.”
The CTA rerouted eastbound the No. 72 North Avenue bus because of the fire department activity.
The fire was the second recent blaze that forced the closure of a popular North Avenue eatery. On Thursday, a basement fire significantly damaged Lillie’s Q, 1856 W. North Ave., about two miles west of Old Town Social.