A Tuesday evening fire destroyed a popular gathering spot in a small eastern Iowa town.

The fire broke out Tuesday night at Bootleggers River Tavern, a restaurant and bar in the Clayton County town of Millville. The small unincorporated town that sits a short distance west of the Mississippi River near the Turkey River and Highway 52, had a population of 29 people in 2015. Realizing just how much a place like this is the heartbeat of a small community makes this news all the more difficult.

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Thankfully, Bootleggers is closed on Tuesdays, so it wasn't open when the fire broke out. As you can see in the images below, firefighters battled the blaze, but were, unfortunately, unable to save the building. No one was injured.

Ann Moore
Ann Moore
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Ann Moore
Ann Moore
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Ann Moore
Ann Moore
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Sadly, this is all that remains of Bootleggers River Tavern in Millville today:

Kelly Knockel, one of Bootleggers' managers, told KWWL she didn't know if they would be able to rebuild the business. She also speculated that an electrical fire could have started the blaze, but the cause has not been confirmed.

We certainly hope that Bootleggers will be able to be rebuilt. It was adored for the people who worked there, the atmosphere, and the food. Nearly 175 Google reviews gave it a combined 4.4 (out of 5) stars. The photo below is what the Bootleggers building, which had been remodeled just a few years ago, looked like inside:

Bootleggers of Millville
Bootleggers of Millville
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