More Places to Dine and Drink in Downtown Cedar Rapids

By Addison Speck, Reporter

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - It's been nearly five years since record floodwater destroyed downtown Cedar Rapids, washing away coffee shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Some chose to restart elsewhere, but others decided to rebuild and return to downtown.

Today, places like Theater Cedar Rapids and the Paramount are back in business. This spring, the new convention complex will open its doors. The excitement is growing and the number of vacant buildings is shrinking. "We definitely wanted to focus on a spot that had a main street feel," said Andy Schumacher, Co-Owner of Cobble Hill, "All the revitalization that's going on down here, the Paramount just opened, Theater Cedar Rapids, and the convention center is coming up, so we thought it was a cool opportunity to be down here and get into that revitalization."

Cobble Hill, located at 219 2nd Street Southeast, will open next Tuesday. It's just one of several restaurants, bars, and cafes that have popped up downtown over the last few years. Schumacher and his wife own and operate the business, bringing years of restaurant and catering experience to the table. "We just kind of started putting this plan together and it's finally coming to fruition," he said.

More places to dine and drink might not be just a local trend, but it could be a sign of an improving economy. According to the National Restaurant Association, the industry grew 3 percent last year and expects similar growth in 2013. Schumacher said the restaurant business can be volatile, but he's confident Cobble Hill will find success downtown by serving up local and seasonal food. "We're trying to do something a little different for Cedar Rapids," he said.

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