Firefighters responded Friday to Gaslight Tavern in North Lawrence, where smoke reportedly was rolling out the front door.
The tavern, which is just south of Johnny's Tavern, is at 317 N. Second St.
According to Lawrence Douglas County Fire Medical division chief Joe Hoelscher, dispatchers received the call just before 6 p.m. When emergency crews arrived at the scene, they confirmed that smoke was visible from the exterior of the building. The structure was unoccupied at the time of the crews' arrival so Hoelscher said forced entry was necessary.
The fire was located in the rear of the small building and was confined to a small utility room. Hoelscher said there was smoke damage throughout the business.
Traffic quickly backed up in the area and officers on scene were directing traffic to help ease some of the congestion.
Investigators were still on scene Friday evening working to determine a cause for the fire.
The amount of estimated damage was not immediately available.