Christmas was far from cheery for Summer Greens’ most popular and oldest tuck shop.
Dave’s Superette, which is fondly known to many as AJ’s, caught fire at about 5am on Christmas morning.
Nearby residents say they heard the commotion and saw smoke and flames coming from the popular shop.
The shop is owned by long-time resident Dave de Wet, who lives next door.
Mr De Wet said he didn’t know how the fire had started.
“We’ve had this place for a long time, and it’s hard to see the place in that condition. Luckily the fire was contained to the shop and was extinguished just before it reached the main house,” he said.
The City’s Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson, Jermaine Carelse, confirmed the cause of the fire was still undetermined.
“The City’s Fire and Rescue Service responded at 5.58am to this incident, and the fire was extinguished at 7.05am,” he said.
The fire had caused extensive damage to the building and its contents, but no injuries had been reported, he said.
Many Summer Greens residents have walked through those doors over the years and a few have shared their fond memories of the place.
Some say they remember it from their youth back in the early 2000s when it was a pizza joint. Others remember AJ’s as their childhood game shop where countless memories were made.
Skylar Petersen lives a few blocks away and always bought her bread and milk at the shop.
“I feel like a part of the community has been taken away. It’s a part of Summer Greens’ history. I hope they can refurbish the place and get it up and running again one day.”
Shaun Piedt said: “Everything inside was just black. The few things that weren’t burnt, were covered in soot. Unfortunately, Christmas came with bad news for those folks, and I hope the community can rally together and help them get back on their feet if there’s anything that can be done.”
Mr De Wet said he planned to reopen the shop, but it might take a while.
“We will have to wait for the investigations and for the bank to do what it needs to do, but eventually, the goal is to reopen the shop.”