Firefighters knock down kitchen fire at Wig and Pen

By Lee Hermiston, The Gazette
Wig and Pen owner Dick Querrey said an early morning fire at the restaurant could have been a lot worse.
It

Fire did less than $5,000 in damage to the Wig & Pen Pizza Pub early Thursday morning. The eatery, located on Highway 6, is a favorite among locals and visitors for University of Iowa events thanks in part to its proximity to Carver-Hawkeye Arena and Kinnick Stadium.

Despite the fire, Querrey said the restaurant could be serving up it’s famous pizzas by Thursday night.

“With any kind of luck, we could have this place back open for tonight,” he said. “The walls and ceiling in the kitchen need cleaned. That’s basically what it is.”

The Iowa City Fire Department responded to an alarm at the restaurant at 2:32 a.m. Thursday. The first company on the scene encountered smoke and fire in the food preparation area. Five apparatus responded to the fire and were able to control the fire, which had been suppressed by the restaurant’s fire protection system.

June has historically been a tough month for the restaurant. Six years ago, it was one of many businesses along Highway 6 — also known as the Coralville Strip — knocked out of commission by the Flood of 2008. The restaurant reopened later that year.

“We try not to think about that,” Querrey said of the flood.

In May, a fire did extensive damage to another iconic Iowa City eatery, Hamburg Inn No. 2. The fire was caused by spontaneous combustion in the basement, has caused an estimated $100,000 in damages and will keep the restaurant closed for at least a few more weeks.

Wig and Pen operates a second location at 363 N. First Ave. in Iowa City.

l Comments: (319) 398-8238; lee.hermiston@sourcemedia.net

facebook twitter rss mobile google plus
email alerts you tube hooplanow pinterest instagram