116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
A new candy and toy store is opening alongside an old-fashioned soda fountain and ice cream shop at 98 16th Ave. SW, Cedar Rapids.
Sweet Mercantile, across from Cafe Saint Pio in the Czech Village, will feature candy and toys on one side, and an old-fashioned soda fountain with ice cream offerings on the other, according to owner Mary Kay McGrath.
“We kind of wanted it to be like the dime store,” said McGrath, who was raised near the Czech Village. “There used to be two or three soda fountains in the Czech Village.”
McGrath is installing a 1920s soda bar that was built in Dubuque. The aesthetic will be curated for an authentic look from the 1910s and 1920s, she said.
McGrath told The Gazette she hopes to have the candy and toy side of the store open by Halloween.
The corner shop was previously home to The Create Exchange, a craft supply store that moved to 615 Center Point Rd. NE earlier this month.
Vivian’s Express Grill temporarily closing
Vivian’s Express Grill on Fountains Drive NE in Cedar Rapids will close temporarily from Oct. 25 to Oct. 31, according to a social media post from the restaurant. It will reopen Monday, Nov. 1.
The closing is planned to allow time to “recalibrate, reset, and set our winter 2021 game plan,” the post said.
“We just haven’t seen the traffic to our Express location we thought we would,” co-owner Briana Smallwood told The Gazette.
The Express location has averaged 25 orders per day, compared to about 200 orders per day at the Williams Parkway SW location, she said. They’re considering changes like new sides, and will be offering $5 coupons at their anchor location that will be valid at the Express location when it reopens.
Diners hungry for soul food can visit the Vivian’s Soul Food anchor location at 2925 Williams Pkwy. SW in Cedar Rapids.
NewBo Bash returns
NewBo Bash, an annual fundraiser for NewBo City Market, will return from 7 to 10 p.m. Nov. 7
Tickets can be purchased online at Eventbrite for $50. If you can’t make the event in person, you can purchase an at-home package for $25, which includes vouchers for shopkeepers and custom glassware.
Guests can experience the talents of shopkeepers through appetizers and signature cocktails while listening to local musician Blake Shaw and company throughout the evening.
New this year, the Market also will auction off exclusive experiences from shopkeepers at a live and silent auction.
“Each year we look ahead to serving our community by supporting local small businesses in new and innovative ways, and by creating engaging and accessible programming throughout the year,” NewBo City Market said in a news release. “We know you share in our vision for making Cedar Rapids one of the coolest places in the Midwest to live, work, and play! Show your support by having a blast at Bash!”
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