Winona Business Forced to Close After Fire

Matthew Drewry

ZaZa’s, a Winona restaurant and bar located across from Winona State University’s campus, caught fire Monday morning.

Though no one was injured, the residents in the four apartments above Zaza’s were evacuated by fire ladders. The property suffered water and smoke damage and will be closing temporarily to address it.

The fire started around 7:30 a.m. in the kitchen area and was brought under control by the Winona Fire Department by 8 a.m.

Paul Marcus, an employee at Zaza’s whose name has been changed to remain anonymous, said he believes it was a grease fire.

“My guess is that the cause of the fire was the grease from the fryers that builds up over time, and any reasonable human error is enough for a fire to start,” Marcus said.

The evacuated students were relocated to Winona State University campus housing.

Though the fire damaged the building, Marcus said he is relived it was not worse.

“I’m just glad the people in the apartments above the restaurant made it out safe,” Marcus said.

Zaza’s opened its doors in 2011 at 529 Huff St. and recently underwent renovations. After reopening and the onset of the COVID pandemic, Zaza’s then opened its outdoor patio to the public. It is unclear when they will reopen to the public in the aftermath of the fire.

The Winona Fire Department was unavailable for comment.

The Winona Fire Department was dispatched Monday after Zaza’s, a local Winona business, caught fire at 7:30 a.m. The fire department was able to subdue the fire by 8 a.m. (Matthew Drewry)
A passerby looks on as the Winona Fire Department puts out a fire at Zaza’s, a business near Winona State University’s Campus. (Matthew Drewry)