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20 ways to support flood-impacted businesses and meet the 'Mayor's Challenge'

Area residents encouraged to visit Cedar Rapids businesses closed during flood

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CEDAR RAPIDS — Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett is challenging residents to help flood-impacted businesses get back on their feet after more than a week of being closed.

He’s called on residents to visit at least 10 of the flood-affected businesses in October. For bikers, who’ve enjoyed the city’s investment in bike trails and bike lanes in recent years, he’s asking them to go the extra mile and visit 15 times to help “recreate the vibe.”

“Ultimately, I want to help all of these businesses that had to shut down and employees who lost a paycheck and continue the good vibe Cedar Rapids had going for it the last several years,” Corbett said.

To go along with the “Mayor’s Challenge,” Corbett announced the Cedar Rapids Gavel Challenge. Every time you visit a business in the flood impacted area, take a picture and post it on social media with the hashtag #CRGavelChallenge to enter.

While the idea of the challenge is a financial lift, Corbett said you don’t necessarily have to buy something to enter the contest. Visiting a local business to show your moral support would qualify, he said.

The winner is to be named the honorary mayor for a day, and first, second and third place would receive gift cards to an impacted business.

The Gazette asked for suggestions to meet the challenge on the CR Flood Help 2016 Facebook group and received an overwhelming response. Continue to share ideas there.

While this list is not comprehensive, it reflects the wide variety of options for food and drinks, the arts, entertainment, theater, exercise, gifts and more.

1. Christi Swenson said local residents should workout at David Cupparmen Fitness, 423 Third Ave. SW. “Trust me, it’s so worth it,” she wrote. She also suggested 2nd Avenue Corner Pocket, 609 Second Ave. SW, for a night out or a burger at lunch and Grady’s Graphics, 719 10th Ave. SW “for all of your graphic needs.”

2. Nancy Jo Rottink Flack suggested trying “some yummy food” at Rumors Bar & Grill, 400 F Ave. NW, and Home Run Sports Bar and Grill, 302 Third Ave. SW.

3. Rent a bike for the day from Goldfinch Cyclery, 1120 Second St. SE, or Hall Bicycle Co., 419 Second Ave. SE. Who knows, you might just become one of those bike enthusiasts to whom the Mayor has issued a special challenge.

4. Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity ReStore, 350 Sixth Ave. SE, has “amazing bargains and unique finds, from one-of-a-kind wonders to the absolute best solutions for your improvement or furnishing needs,” said Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Jeff Capps. “And, your purchases help the local Habitat for Humanity affiliate build more and serve more families.”

5. Britt Marie recommends a stop at White Star Ale House, 305 Second Ave. SE, where patrons are to find “amazing happy hour prices.” Added Kimberly Sprinkles Cowger: “And, their cinnamon ice cream is delicious.”

6. “Rustic Hearth,” wrote Diane Riccolo, about the bakery in NewBo City Market, 1100 Third St. SE, which reopens Oct. 13. “The sourdough bread is the best!”

7. Considering your first tattoo or piercing — or maybe your 10th to memorialize the flood of 2016? Wildside Tattoo & Body Piercing, 413 First Ave. SW, “was flood affected just as much as any other business,” said Aaron Hanson.

8. Susan Pfeiler-Todd called Village Meat Market, 92 16th Ave. SW, “a unique, eclectic place for lunch” and said it has “the most incredible Reuben” and “it’s a must to get the beignets.”

9. “Make sure to grab the best biscuits and gravy in town at Brewhemia (1202 Third St. SE) then stop over for some great brews at Lion Bridge Brewing Co. (59 16th Ave. SW),” wrote Aaron Hanson.

10. “Stop in to see original art at the Artisan’s Sanctuary or inside CSPS or The Cherry Building,” wrote Liz Bennett. Artisan’s Sancuary is at 45 16th Ave SW, The Cherry Building is at 329 10th Ave. SE., and CSPS Hall is at 1103 Third St. SE.

11. Marsha Nieland suggests “a relaxing yoga class at Fusion Studio,” 600 Third St. SE. “Same building as Rierson Fitness,” she wrote.

12. Tony James Burnett says if you’re looking for some “awesome Cedar Rapids inspired T-shirts,” check out Red Ball Printing, 1390 Third St. SE. See the designs at redballprinting.com.

13. “Shout out to The Create Exchange,” wrote Heidi Ehrenberger Haney. “They have all sorts of crafting goods and accept them as well. Everyone taking this opportunity to sort out their crafting supplies can take their usable leftovers here.” The Exchange is located at 98 16th Ave. SW.

14. “There are some incredible performances coming up at Theatre Cedar Rapids,” wrote Susan Pfeiler-Todd. The theater, 102 Third St. SE, hosts Divapalooza Oct. 14 and 15, showcasing “local favorites and fabulous female singers, Janelle Lauer, Jane Pini and Lynn Rothrock,” Pfeiler-Todd wrote.

15. “Popoli is doing a prime rib special starting Thursday and through the weekend,” Cris Jennings wrote. Popoli Ristorante & Sullivan’s Bar is located at 101 Third Ave SW.

16. “We are CR Bike Ride” on Saturday supports several businesses along the river. The itinerary is merely suggested. An “extra credit” breakfast ride begins at 9 a.m. at Brewhemia, 1202 Third St. SE, and goes to Ely via trail and back followed by stops at Parlor City and NewBo Alehouse.

The main ride begins at noon at Sag Wagon Deli and Brew, 827 Shaver Road NE, followed by Czech Village stops at 1 p.m., including Lion Bridge Brewing Co, Lucky’s, Red Frog, Red Baron, CJ’s, and Ernie’s.

At 2:30 p.m., stops along 16th Avenue SE include Kickstand, Tornado’s and Little Bohemia.

At 4 p.m., stops are in NewBo and downtown, including Parlor City, NewBo Ale House, Iowa Brewing, 217 and Need Pizza.

17. Lion’s Bridge Brewing Co. and Buffalo Ridge Orchard of Central City have an Autumnal Apple & Beer Pairing set from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Oct. 26 at Lion Bridge, 59 16th Ave. SW. Chef Stacia Dougherty is to prepare five apple-centric dishes to be paired with beer tasters. Tickets are $30. Buy tickets at lionbridgebrewing.com.

18. “Party on the NoBo Side” begins at 11 a.m. on Oct. 15 and goes until bars close. It’s all ages until 10 p.m. when the music stops, and then 21 and older. The event is intended to support NewBo business that were on the “wet side” of the flood wall, including Bo Macs Pizza, Tornado’s Grub and Pub, Bo Town Amphitheater, Mad Modern and Kickstand. Planned are food vendors, drinks, live music, silent auction, a bake sale and several bands.

19. “Lucky’s on 16th for breakfast and Black Sheep for Captain Crunch walleye,” wrote Stephanie Green Neff. Black Sheep Social Club is at 600 First St. SE, and Lucky’s is at 86 16th Ave. SW.

20. “Pick up Bruce Springsteen’s new autobiography at Next Page Books in the NewBo District,” wrote Carole Teator. Next Page is located at 1105 Third St. SE.

For all of The Gazette's Flood 2016 coverage, please visit our flood coverage center.

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