PESCADERO (CBS SF) -- Sunday morning, residents of the quaint little town of Pescadero, just off Highway 1, south of Half Moon Bay, stared in shock at what was left of a local landmark -- the Pescadero Country Store.
"Right now I feel shaky because I just can't believe it's happened," said Diane Snyder, a longtime resident.
Around 4 o'clock Sunday morning the colorful market -- which some called the heart and soul of the town -- caught fire. By the time fire crews arrived, it was engulfed in flames.
They were too late to save the old building and, by sunrise, locals' worst fears were realized.
"It means everything to the town," Irma Mitton said. "This was where everybody met everyday, for coffee, for a sandwich -- just to come in and say, 'hi'."
Pescadero is a popular spot for weekend tourists, often on bicycles, and the store was well known for its fun atmosphere and artisanal pizza.
It has burned before, but old-timer Edward Weeks is the only one we found who remembers that.
"(It happened) about the time that Roosevelt died ... In the second World War, right around that time," Weeks, who is in his nineties, recalled.
Friends say they'd like to help owner Cindy Simms rebuild the place so the history of the Country Store can continue.
"Sure there are other places we could probably hang out but we'll probably just hang out in the street in front of it," Mitton said.
No injuries were reported and a cause for the fire remains under investigation.
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