Car crash, fire destroy historic Hickory House restaurant in Waterloo

Car crash, fire destroy historic Hickory House restaurant in Waterloo


Aftermath of the fire at D&K Hickory House in downtown Waterloo, which took place Sunday morning.



Waterloo firefighters evaluate the damage at D&K Hickory House on Sunday. The historic restaurant burned down after a car crashed into the wooden building, causing a gas leak and subsequent explosion.

DONALD A. PROMNITZ, Courier Staff Writer

WATERLOO – The popular, iconic Hickory House barbecue restaurant has burned down less than a week after celebrating seven decades in business after a car hit the building Sunday.

According to Troy Luck, Waterloo Fire Rescue batallion chief, firefighters were called at around 9 am to reports of a car crashing into the D&K Hickory House at 315 Park Road downtown. The crash caused a gas leak, and as firefighters were addressing the leak, an explosion occurred in the old, wooden building.

Aftermath of car crash and subsequent fire at the D&K Hickory House in downtown Waterloo.

One firefighter was reportedly evaluated for injuries, but he was cleared to return to duty.

“Right now it’s minor,” Luck said. “He’s been released back to work.”

Last Monday, the Hickory House celebrated 70 years of doing business. According to restaurant co-owner Lutricia Chilcote, the family is still waiting for the evaluation from their insurers, but suspects a total loss.

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“Well, the ceiling is all caved in, so I’m assuming a total loss,” Chilcote said.

The restaurant is well known to generations of Cedar Valley diners, and its smoked ribs were a customer favorite. Photos of celebrities who had stopped in lined a wall just inside the front door. The Waterloo Police Department is still investigating the circumstances behind the crash that led to the fire.


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