Mystery safe uncovered during Bonanza Restaurant demolition

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Mystery safe uncovered during Bonanza Restaurant demolition

Ryan Schwab is hoping for a bonanza at Bonanza.

Schwab is the contractor tearing down the remains of the restaurant on 8th Street East.

It was destroyed by fire on Feb. 21.

Schwab's track hoe was dragging across the tiles covering the floor in a back washroom in the building when he made a startling discovery.

A safe, embedded in concrete.

"We saw the silver thing and we jackhammered it out," he said.

The safe is now sitting in the back of his half-ton truck. The dial is torn off and the exterior is scratched — but it's otherwise intact.

"It's probably an empty safe that I wasted $400 getting out," he said. 

But then he added, with a laugh, "maybe it's full of gold."

Bonanza owner Gary Baba said the safe had been installed in the floor of an office that was later converted to a washroom. Baba owned the restaurant for 21 years and said he knew the safe was there, but that it had been sealed under the tile before he took over.

Schwab said he'd like to get it restored.

"The track-hoe didn't open it, so we know it's solid," he said.

"If you know anyone who can open a safe without wrecking it, let me know."