A GOOD Samaritan is now looking to the Port Elizabeth community to help him in his time of need after his business, Die Train pub and grill, was gutted by fire at the weekend.
Willem Stadler, 38, owner of the Kings Beach landmark since August last year, is known for his generosity.
Fundraising events are already in the pipeline to help Stadler get back on his feet as the business was not insured.
“The support from the Port Elizabeth community has been incredible,” Stadler said outside the burnt shell of his pub yesterday.
“I have been inundated with well wishes and people offering all kinds of help. I am truly humbled by the experience.”
A longtime customer and friend of Stadler’s, who did not want to be named, said it was sad to see what had happened to Die Train, and that Stadler was the last person who deserved what had happened.
“Since he took over there have been countless charity events. Last month, the pub raised R11 000 for a leukaemia patient who could not afford treatment.
“The month before, it helped a family from Central, who were burgled and lost everything, to get back on their feet.
“I really hope the people of Port Elizabeth come together and help Willem when he needs them.”
Die Train, previously also known as The Gravy Train, has been a Kings Beach landmark for decades.
Stadler said the train carriages that made up the pub and restaurant had been placed there to commemorate the British royal family’s visit to Kings Beach in 1947.
Since then, the pub has changed names and owners multiple times.
While an investigation is still pending, Stadler said a cooking fire in the kitchen, at about 7.20pm on Sunday, caused the blaze. It spread to the bar area and quickly consumed the adjacent large wooden deck.