‘It was crazy busy. It was awesome’: Restaurants around downtown Cedar Rapids benefit from busy holiday weekend

Published: Jul. 5, 2021 at 10:59 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Downtown Cedar Rapids and the area around it was as busy over the Fourth of July weekend as it has been in over a year, with those crowds leading to good business for nearby restaurants and bars.

Quinton’s Bar & Deli in Kingston Village benefitted from its proximity to the McGrath Amphitheatre, the venue across the street from the restaurant that hosted an REO Speedwagon concert on Saturday night and spectators watching the Celebration of Freedom Fireworks on Sunday.

“You couldn’t really move, there were so many people. It was — we were three-deep at the bar, standing room only, people waiting in line for tables. It was great,” Quinton’s Assistant Manager Hillary Carlson said.

Carlson said the past weekend wasn’t just good at Quinton’s — it was their busiest since opening a few years ago.

“We were prepared, thankfully,” Carlson said. “We definitely staffed up, and our team did really, really well. We were proud of everyone.”

A few blocks away, the owner of LP Street Food said Saturday’s concert especially brought in customers — so many that they decided to close Monday and surprise staff with a paid day off to say thanks and allow them to rest up.

While some restaurant staff might be a little more tired at the start of this week, they’re not complaining.

“It was really refreshing after last year, you know, having no business, to this weekend and standing room only,” Carlson said.

Staff at Quinton’s said they have been getting busier over the last few months, and they hope it stays that way — especially as they prepare to open a second location in Cedar Rapids later this month.

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