Johnson County Metro

Fire damages Shakespeare's Pub & Grill in Iowa City

Fire chief says cooking equipment is likely cause

IOWA CITY — No one was injured when a kitchen fire broke out an Iowa City bar and restaurant.

Iowa City Fire Battalion Chief Brian Platz said crews were called to Shakespeare’s Pub & Grill, 819 First Ave., at 9:50 a.m. for a report of a hot wall in the kitchen of the business. Dispatchers reported that employees inside believed there was fire inside the wall separating the kitchen from the bar and dining area.

Platz said when crews arrived four minutes later, the restaurant had been evacuated and smoke was coming from the roof vents. Firefighters soon discovered smoke coming from the eaves of the building, indicated the fire had traveled into the attic.

“Crews opened the roof up to get as close to the fire as possible,” Platz said. “Fire came up through the roof.”

A crew inside the restaurant opened up the kitchen wall and attacked the fire from there, as well. A majority of the damage was contained to the wall that separated the kitchen from the rest of the bar. Platz said firefighters were able to keep the fire confined to that “general location.”

The fire was brought under control within about 12 minutes after crews fired arrived on the scene. There were no reported injuries to firefighters or civilians.

“Everyone was evacuated by the time we got there,” he said. “Everything was good on that front.”


Platz said cooking equipment is likely to be the cause of the fire, though investigators are looking into electrical causes, as well. Platz put the preliminary damage estimates at between $30,000-$40,000.

“No doubt they’ll remodel and be up and running in no time,” he said.


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