The popular Missouri Hick Bar-B-Que restaurant along Route 66 in Cuba, Mo., was
severely damaged in a fire late Saturday or early Sunday, according varying accounts from Cuba residents on Facebook.
The restaurant isn’t historic, but remains notable for its hillbilly-style cedar decor and furniture, in addition to its much-praised barbecue. It’s a prime example of a relatively news establishment that’s embraced the Mother Road’s old-time quirkiness and hospitality.
The Missouri Hick also sits just east of the historic and restored Wagon Wheel Motel. Its overnight guests often ate their supper there.
Here’s a video shot last year about the Missouri Hick, during the Route 66 by the Cars for a Grand folks:
I’ll track down more information about the blaze and post it here …
UPDATE: A blog post by Jane Reed at Cuba Murals had some details about the fire at Dennis Meiser’s restaurant:
A group of dispirited employess were sitting on the front porch. Doors to the building were propped open. Other than telling me not to go into the building, they didn’t have much to say. It was plain that the fire had saddened them. One employee said that the fire department may have been alerted by the fire alarm system during the middle of the night. No employees were on site when the fire started, and Meiser had been out of town. The employees said that he was on his way back to Cuba.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that while both floors of the dining areas are smoke-damaged, they are intact. The outside of the building on the front and sides look about the same. Most of the damage was in the kitchen although the front door was cracked.
We have not talked to the fire department or Dennis, but we hope this popular eatery is soon reopened.
Reed also posted some photos from the fire scene. The damage to the restaurant is not readily apparent. So perhaps the Missouri Hick will reopen quickly after repairs are made.
UPDATE 8/31/2011: The Cuba Free Press posted a report. An alert state trooper on patrol saw the fire in its early stages, thus preventing it from becoming a lot more damaging.
Fire officials think the restaurant could reopen within 30 days.
UPDATE 9/21/2011: Meiser said today the restaurant would reopen by mid- to late October.
UPDATE 10/24/2011: Missouri Hick Bar-B-Que has reopened. Here’s the report from the Cuba Murals blog.