Early this morning, a passerby noticed flames and smoke shooting out of the Chrome Horse Saloon/3rd St. Saloon in downtown Cedar Rapids. The entire CRFD fought the good fight on a blaze that apparently was caused by spontaneous combustion of rags near animal fats in the kitchen.

I snapped a few photos. Above is the Chrome kitchen. Lots of smoke and water damage was present throughout both floors.


Here's a video of the fire from the CRFD Facebook page.


I've seen many a show upstairs and down at this heritage landmark.

Some of the best:

Godsmack [on their first national tour]


Ronnie James Dio

...and the doughnut festival with Media Elitists Jay Parsons, Mayor Appleby, Tommy Lang and Jaymz Larson. DOUGH! NUTS!

We've given away motorcycles, had 2-beer lunches and held Super Bowl parties in that joint. Speaking of Super Bowls, when Free Beer brought Dale Hellestrae and his Cowboys Super Bowl ring into the joint last fall, it was football fiesta time. Just one of hundreds of big moments.

More memories will be forged on 3rd Street. Mine started in 1998. I know a lot of yours go back to Big Dog's and beyond.

As I was looking at the building this morning, I noticed the Flood of '08 Water Level sign. It's "Rise Above This" once again.

Here's hoping Derek and his team at Chrome Horse get things back in good working order very soon.