The owner, Wayne Co. 2 Fire Chief John Gabriel, was inside the kitchen cooking when the blaze broke out around 10:30 outside the Mountainview Boulevard eatery, just off Route 23, emergency workers said.
Gabriel and others made sure everyone got out safely. Hoses strung up the fire escape were turned on the sign.
The interior sustained minor smoke damage on the first floor bar area, firefighters said. Part of the exterior was damaged by fire.
The popular Passaic County staple, established in 1946, has been owned and operated by four generations of Gabriels.