Behind the upside-down chairs on the bar in Tom Fischer's Tavern, a plaque hangs from the wall. "The First Bar on This Site Was Born in 1938," it reads.
Over the decades, the Haddon Township bar, which prides itself on attracting a diverse crowd, has served doctors and construction workers, patrons young and old.
But on Wednesday, a fire temporarily put a cork in the memories. Fire crews responded sometime before 4 a.m. Valerie Fischer, owner since 1995, said a smoldering cigarette was suspected as the cause, but arson had been ruled out.
The worst damage was in a back area known as the smoking patio, Fischer said. Other parts of the building sustained smoke and water damage, though she said she expected to reopen next week.