There were no injuries, according to Deputy Fire Chief Robert Kronenberger, and the source of the blaze in the top level of the circa 1900 downtown row building has yet to be determined.
"There is not a lot of fire damage, but there is water damage throughout and through the electrical panels," Kronenberger said. There will be work to do to get the place up and running, which should take a couple of days, he added.
Eli Cannon's is normally closed for business on Mondays. A message posted on Eli's Facebook page assures fans the tavern will be open for business Wednesday.
By 8:30 a.m., owner Phil Ouellette was working with inspectors to assess the damage the sprinkler system had caused. The restaurant, which he co-owns, is a beloved hangout which draws faithful customers from throughout the state.
Ouellette keeps up with his loyal patrons on socials and as soon as the news of a fire hit the news, dozens of concerned posts were made by fans on Eli's Facebook page.
The northernmost reaches of Middletown's North End of Main Street is home to a growing hip restaurant and bakery enclave, re-christened NoRa or North of Rapallo Avenue a few years ago by Ouellette. He is a junior partner in NoRA Cupcake Co. owned by Carrie Carella across the street from Eli's, next door to Krust pizza and bourbon bar.