Missouri Hick BBQ fire; may it rise again

Missouri Hick BBQ August 28 , 2011 Cuba, Missouri

As you can see, the outside of the Mo Hick BBQ looks the same. This photo was taken this morning.

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.

Mo HIck fire damage August 28, 2011

The worst damage seen on the outside is from the kitchen area. Thankfully, the fire did not reach the nearby gas tank.

Entry of Mo HIck BBQ

In the entry, you can see some damage from the kitchen area.

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.

Dining area of Missouri Hick BBQ Cuba, Missouri

As you can see, the new dining area seems undamaged.


Middle dining area MO Hick Cuba, Missouri

The middle dining area looks undamaged as well. Mo HIck’s famous BBQ sauce stands guard.

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.

Route 66 Missouri Hick BBQ Water Wheel Cuba, MIssouri

The well-known Water Wheel at the Missouri Hick is undamaged.

 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.




Take a bite of this…

Cuba, Missouri Sandwich from Bridge Tap House

Cuba, Missouri: A few months ago, one of our Viva Cuba members emailed me that her son had gone to a restaurant in the city for lunch, and there was a sandwich on the menu called Cuba, Missouri. I googled the name of the restaurant, but I couldn’t get a photo or find out why it was called after our small Missouri town. So I put the idea on the back burner with the idea that maybe I would go there sometime, take a photo, and get the info I needed.

Then recently I ran across the photo above on Flickr by Sharon Jordan, who had been to the Tap House & Wine Bar at 1004 Locust Street in St. Louis, and taken a photo of the Cuba, Missouri sandwich. Now, we’re cookin’. I emailed her with some questions and asked to use her photo, which she graciously allowed. She also gave me some info on the sandwich. Sharon is a foodie who often eats at the Tap House, and if you know anything about foodies, you know that they like to take photos of food as well as eat it.

When I did my earlier research, I found out that the Cuba, Missouri was $9.00, and it consisted of Mojo roasted pork, ham, Emmenthaler, pickles, and mustard aoli served on a house bun. The Mojo pork is a spiced pork. Further research found that Emment(h)aler cheese is Switzerland’s oldest and most important cheese, and it has a nutty-sweet, mellow flavor. It is a cow’s-milk cheese light gold in color with marble-size holes and a brown rind.  It is named for Switzerland’s Emmental Valley. The mustard aoli is a strongly flavored garlic mayonnaise from the Provence region of Southern France. We imagine that the Tap House puts its own twist on this.

I didn’t see anything about the chips, but Jordan called them Billy goat chips, and they look homemade, sort of like the ones at our local Rock Fair Tavern.

Jordan, who has met the owner of the Tap House, said that the sandwich is Cuban, and since Missouri has its own Cuba (us) that they named the Cuban sandwich after our town and state. We’re cool with that.

A look at the Tap House & Wine Bar shows it to be mindful of fresh, local ingredients and combinations. In other words, it is a place where foodies would congregate, and a place where we are proud to have our name on the menu.

While the sandwich has no personal ties to Cuba, Missouri, foodie and photographer Sharon Jordan does. In the comments to her photo, she said, “We do love the town, use to visit about once a month when our son was at Fort Leonard Wood a few years back.”

If it has been a few years, she might want to return because we have had some changes with the murals, the World’s Largest Rocking Chair, the revitalization of the uptown historic area, and the restoration of the Wagon Wheel Motel and the addition of a Visitor Center.

By the way, she described the sandwich, as “mouth-watering delish!!!”

Maybe it’s time for one of our local eateries to put their own spin on a Cuba, Missouri sandwich. Viva la Cuba!

If you visit, see “20 Things to do in Cuba, Missouri…Route 66 Mural City.”

Coming Events:

July: Crawford County, Missouri Fair at Hood Park

August: Picture on the Rocker Day-Fanning 66 Outpost

September:  Lions Club Car & Motorcycle Show in Historic Cuba, MO

3rd Weekend in October: Cuba Fest-crafts, music, Taste of Cuba, Wine Tent, Trolley Tours of Murals (Saturday), Cemetery Tour (Sunday), Chili Cook-off (Saturday), Saturday Mural City 5K,  and many more activities. Visit the events Facebook page for updated info in the fall.

March: Route 66 Race to the Rocker, a 4-mile race along Route 66 from the historic mural district to the Fanning 66 Outpost and the site of the World’s Largest Rocking Chair

See cubamochamber.com for event details.

They haven’t had one for four years…

Cuba, Missouri Estate Sale

A sign that says it all.

The character of a town is made up of many elements. A local business in Cuba, Missouri and its owners make their mark on the retail scene, and a special event is in the works.

They use to have one every year, but Darlene Mullen of ABC Investments says that they haven’t had one for four years. When you hear the name of Bob and Darlene Mullen’s business, you might think they deal in stocks and bonds. However, as the sign on their window says, “They Sell Stuff”–and they buy it. The one that Darlene mentions refers to a big outside sale that you might call a one-business flea market. Most of the items in the sale are from estate sales that they buy in the course of their furniture/resale business or maybe from some of Bob Mullen’s trades.

With Darlene’s current reign as the Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year, and her and husband Bob’s community works, she stays busy. She organizes the decor for the Chamber’s Annual Banquet and the annual September Lion’s Club Car & Motorcycle Show. She also has to try to keep up with Bob’s buying and selling. It’s no wonder that annual sale hasn’t been held for four years.

And if you know Bob, you can imagine there is a lot of buying and trading going on. Bob is a trader. If you want to buy or sell, Bob will try to make a deal.  How do you think Bob and Darlene got the largest private collection of neon signs, car memorabilia, and other thousands of items in the Midwest? Their collection finally got so big that it filled three buildings and got its own name–Bob’s Gasoline Alley.  

But Bob’s not selling items from his personal collection.  Darlene and Bob are emptying the storage buildings for the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (August 18-20) sale of extra items that they have accumulated from their business. Tables are filling up.  It’s a treasure trove of surplus. The sale is at their business ABC Investment on Highway 19/408 S. Franklin. Darlene says it’s priced “to get rid of.” No early sales. The sale starts at 8:30 am. Here’s a preview of some of what’s going on the tables.

Cuba, Missouri ABC Investment

Darlene says this trailer is for the guys.

Cuba, Mo Estate sale

There is a little of everything here.

Cuba, Missouri Tupperware

After all these years, tupperware is still a popular item.

Cuba, Missouri Classic car

Need a classic car? No problem.

Mystery goods Cuba, Missouri

Rows of mystery goods await the bargain shopper.

ABC Investment Cuba Missouri

Need a mug?

ABC Investment truck Cuba, Missouri

Several truckloads were rolling in to be unloaded for the sale.

Scenes from last year’s Lions Club Car & Motorcycle Show are here. The 2011 Car & Motorcycle Show is September 24.

Come to the show, see the murals, and visit our shops and other attractions for a good time. Bring your camera.


Cuba, Missouri Route 66 Treasure Hunt $$$$

Route 66 fan looking for treasures

This young Route 66 fan is setting out for treasure hunting on the Route. Is he traveling incognito?

This week’s Cuba Free Press carried an ad about the miles & miles of yard sales & flea markets from Villa Ridge through St. James slated for Labor Day Weeekend.

Locally, the Cuba & St. James Chambers are promoting this special sale on September 1, 2, 3, & 4. The chambers are urging you to join in this annual event. Cruising Route 66 can be a bargain hunters paradise during these dates.

If you want to have a sale or get the map for the sale…

If you place your yard slae ad in the Cuba Free Press, Steelville Star, Extra and Saint James Press you can receive the following:

–Up to 20-word sale listing (50 cents a word after that)

–Ads will run on the website (we don’t know what website)

–All this for $10

The ad and map for bargain hunting will be published Sept. 1 in the Cuba Free Press, Extra, and Saint James Press, and Aug. 31 in the Steelville Star.

Get your ads in August 26 by noon if you want to participate.

The ad didn’t mention it, but I would think this would be a good time for local businesses to feature some sales/displays for the folks cruising these towns on Route 66.

Make some money by selling those old treasures or find some bargains and treasures by taking a Labor Day  weeekend cruise along Route 66.

While in Cuba…

While in Cuba, stop and see the murals, take a photo at the Historic Landmark Wagon Wheel Motel, stare in awe-struck wonder at the Guinness World’s Largest Rocking Chair, visit the Crawford County Historical Society Museum on Smith Street, and eat at one of our local restaurants. Check out the size 37 shoes at the Hayes Shoes Store while cruising Route 66.

You’re always welcome in Cuba, Missouri. Bring your camera

For more info about Cuba read, “5 Tips to get more out of your visit to Cuba, Missouri…”

Cruise Route 66

Mark Labor Day Weekend 2011 for a bargain hunting cruise on Route 66.


World’s Largest Rocking Chair lifts spirits

Cuba Missouri World's Largest Rocking Chair

This young couple relaxes on the edge of the rocker.


Cuba, Missouri: They came from far and wide to the Fanning 66 Outpost General Store and their Guinness World’s Largest Rocking Chair for an annual event-Picture at the Rocker Day. For a few hours, a large lift run by Outpost staff raises individuals and groups to the seat of the area attraction for that one-of-a-kind photo.

Rocker Statistics: 42’1″ Tall; 20′ 3″ wide; weight estimated at 27,500 pounds

This year’s event on August 6 was a succcess as always. Some planned ahead for it, and others just lucked on to it. The Fanning 66 Outpost & General Store is located 4 miles west of Cuba, Missouri on Route 66.

In addition to the the rocker and the store, it is also the location of a 4-plex of archery ranges with many special events and leagues during the year. There is also a family-run taxidermy business next door, an influence that can be seen in the Outpost’s eclectic mix of inventory.

The rocker may lure many tourists to stop for a photo, but the well-run store with its array of Route 66 memorabilia and its friendly staff delays their travels even more.

Here’s a selection of photos from this year’s Picture at the Rocker Day.

Route 66 Largest Rocking Chair

This Farmington, MO couple traveled to Cuba for a special photograph.

This couple from Farmington asked about the Route 66 Race to the Rocker, which is March 31 in 2012. They had heard some local runners talking about it at Country Kitchen while they were having breakfast after a morning training run. The couple was thinking of returning for the event.

Cuba, Missouri Picture at the Rocker Day

This group with San Diego ties enjoy their lift to the rocker seat.

The woman on the left was from Rolla, Missouri, but her guests were traveling from San Diego, California. They were going to have an unusual vacation photo.

Largest Rocker Cuba Missouri

This young adventurer was waving at his grandma on the ground.

This young man will have the memory of the day when his grandmother took him to visit the World’s Largest Rocking Chair.

Picture on the rocker Fanning, Missouri

This couple from Rolla wanted a special photo on the rocker.

It’s fun to watch others going up for their photos too. Many photos are taken during the day.

Route 66 Missouri Picture on the Rocker

The young man got his photo as his mother and brothers watched from the ground.

Sometimes it is only one lone family member who feels the compulsion for that photo. This young man from Cuba left his family on the ground.

Spyders MOGang Cuba Missouri Rocker

This group of Spyder ryders came from all over for this photo.

Cuba is the site of a Spyderfest US in the early spring when 100s of spyder ryders gather for fun and fellowship. This group that is called the MOGang returned for the Picture at the Rocker Day. They came from all over to enjoy some more Cuba MoJo and get this great photo. One rider cruised in from Tennessee. Later, they had a little BBQ at Missouri Hick.

Next year’s event is…we’ll get back to you on that…changes are brewing. But the Missouri rocker will continue to lift spirits.

Panoramic shot of the 66 Outpost Cuba, Missouri

A panoramic shot gives a good angle of Route 66 and the Outpost layout..


The Route 66 Red Rocker reigns over the Mother Road

Route 66 Red Rocker at the Fanning US66 General Store-Cuba, MO. Angie Parrett photo.

“5 Reasons Why We Love the World’s Largest Rocker as it turns three.” Use our search bar for other posts about the rocker, the Route 66 Race to the Rocker, the murals, and other area attractions.





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