NewBo businesses prepare to reopen

Owners say closing comes with a cost

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CEDAR RAPIDS — Steve Shriver watched as crews carried kitchen equipment and furniture back into his coffee shop Brewhemia.

It’s the second time in weeks that Shriver has moved into the New Bohemia District space at 1202 Third St. SE. Just a few weeks after relocating from the CSPS Hall, Shriver and his staff had to tear down again as the district braced for the second-highest flood in Cedar Rapids history.

“We completely dismantled everything we had just installed,” he said. “Even though we didn’t get flooded, it still is a substantial cost to us, just the downtime, having no revenue, but continuing to have bills that are adding up. There’s nothing easy about this.”

Shriver said the coffee shop should be ready to open in about a week.

Shriver was one of many Cedar Rapids business owners Friday returning to their New Bohemia District storefronts to survey any damage and prepare to reopen.

Cater-cornered to Brewhemia, Stephanie Jelinek was in Parlor City Pub and Eatery, assessing the situation. The Third Street SE bar had about four feet of water in the basement, which damaged serving lines to the 56 beers on tap.

That means when the Parlor City reopens, as soon as this weekend, only canned craft beers will be available, Jelinek said.

Jelinek said the biggest loss was through the lost food and lost revenue that comes with closing down for several days.

“We do a lot of reservations for rehearsal dinners, retirement parties, lots of big events in people’s lives which we were unable to deliver on, which never feels good,” she said. “But we’ll be back better than ever.”

Just to the south along Third Street SE, Andy Brimeyer stood in the open space that will soon be Goldfinch Cyclery’s new home. Brimeyer said he had planned to move from the bike shop’s former location on Second Street SE into the new space in November, but the flood pushed the move sooner.

Through the help of volunteers, more than 60 bikes were relocated into vacant space above NewBo Alehouse, while the rest of the store was placed in a U-Haul truck, he said.

With the flood now in the rearview mirror, Brimeyer said, “All the stress is off peoples’ shoulders now. What a relief that we don’t have a lot of flood debris to clean up. All we have to do is clean up some sandbags, that’s no big deal.”

Earlier this week, Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett called on residents to return businesses in areas that been evacuated.

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

Meanwhile, flood cleanup downtown:

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