The news soon spread on Facebook that Missouri Hick BBQ, a popular Cuba, Missouri and Route 66 restaurant owned by Dennis Meiser, had sustained damage during a middle of the night fire. Smoked meats, rustic decor, the waitresses called MO HIck Chicks, and many billboards have made a name for this “must stop” Cuba trademark. Some folks plan their trips around a stop at the BBQ spot. Many glowing remarks, often from international travelers, fill its guest book.
I received a text from a friend that said, “Mo Hick, say it ain’t so.” I replied. “So. It will rise again.”
Before church, I ventured to the popular, award winning BBQ spot to see what I could see for myself. 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. Our thoughts are with Dennis and his hard working staff. We hope that like the mythological Phoenix, that MO Hick BBQ rises from these ashes to an even greater success that before.
UPDATE: This week’s Cuba Free Press carried an ad that says the that Missouri Hick will re-open on Tuesday, October 25, 2011. The restaurant originally opened February 12, 2002. The phone number for Missouri Hick is 573-885-6791.
To see the many improvements at MO Hick after the fire, go here.