Brunch customers at Rich Uncle Tavern were forced to leave their seats for a fire in the restaurant.

Fire officials received the call for the downtown Kitchener establishment just after 11 a.m. Sunday morning.

The crews believe the flames started underneath the back deck and spread to a delivery van, but are still investigating the cause.

Executive chef Benjamin Lillico says there were about 20 people dining and five staff members inside at the time of the fire.

“We tried to grab a couple of extinguishers,” he said. “But by the time we were able to reach the back of our binding the fire was a little bit out of control.

“You can always replace material, but you can’t replace people. We’re very thankful.”

Fire crews had part of Charles Street closed off as they attended to the situation.

Rich Uncle Tavern is usually closed on Mondays, but staff says they hope business will resume later in the week.