Join us today in mourning a true, trashy landmark among film locations, which Top Gun immortalized with a simple declaration of lust 22 years ago and which a fire completely gutted Thursday afternoon. Yes, folks, San Diego's Kansas City BBQ — where Tom Cruise warbled, ahem, "Great Balls of Fire" to Kelly McGillis and where Meg Ryan ordered Anthony Edwards to "take me to bed or lose me forever" — is but a charred, smoky memory:
[A] sign in the restaurant noted that the jet jockey movie's "sleazy bar scene" was filmed there. ... [Fire department spokesman Maurice] Luque estimated damage at $250,000 to the structure and $150,000 to the contents, not including the cost of decades of memorabilia, including photographs and props from the film. Dozens of Navy caps and license plates hung on walls and ceilings.
Firefighters found Navy flight helmets inside the dining area - melted.
"It must've been a very intense fire," Luque said. "You can see where the fire swirled around, then just took everything out."
Of course it was intense; it had Top Gun props as fuel! (This would never happen on the set of Valkyrie.) But no inferno can ever melt our memories, made all the more vivid today by a clip of the BBQ joint's finest hour — in Italian. "Goose! Vai a letto o mi perdere!" Show us the way home, honey.