Cedar Rapids downtown development signals recovery

Two recently announced corridor Barrel House restaurants signal recovery for Cedar Rapids’ downtown development.

KWWL reporter Michele White discussed the revitalization of the 3,500 square foot space at 201 1st Avenue SE, Cedar Rapids with GLD’s Michael Gibbs.

New restaurants coming to Marion, and Cedar Rapids are a sign of a comeback and a catalyst for growth.

“I believe it just keeps getting better and better, especially with the mask mandate being lifted,” Gibbs said. “People are getting more comfortable (going out).”

Gibbs also relayed the hesitation of some business owners to sign leases in part due to COVID and in part due to the cost of supplies — some of which have increased over 300% in the last several months.

“I think having more of these (restaurants) downtown is a benefit,” Gibbs said. It’ll also bring more people in for dinnertime aiding in Cedar Rapids’ downtown development.”

Barrel House founder, Jimmy Holt, wanted to be part of the catalyst for growth. “COVID had an effect on the restaurant business as a whole in the downtown area of Cedar Rapids and we just felt there was a necessity and a need and really wanted to be part of the comeback,” Holt said.

Barrel House in Marion plans to create between 40 to 60 jobs and the Cedar Rapids location stands to create up to 50 new jobs. Both locations are expected to be open by fall 2021.

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