116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — Popoli Ristorante & Sullivan’s Bar, brought back by popular demand in September after a long closure, is closing again.
The restaurant announced last week plans to close for good on May 8. Staring June 1, the space at 101 Third Ave. SW, the historic People’s Bank building, will become an event center operated by Peppercorn Food Company, owned by Jude Villafana, who also was managing partner of Popoli.
Popoli first closed in December 2020.
“We wish to thank all of our loyal customers, employees, suppliers and service providers for their support throughout the years,” the restaurant said on its social media announcement.
In September, co-owner Gary Rozek told The Gazette that feedback from customers hoping for a comeback and new circumstances for its catering arm meant that the “timing was right to get back in business.”
“We had built our business on theater events, corporate dining, and we were catering a lot of big parties. None of those things we built the business on were happening at the time we closed down,” Rozek said before the 2021 reopening. “We saw a long, dark winter ahead of us without corporate dining, winter events and business we had expected. But we think some of that’s coming back.”
Designed by Louis Sullivan in 1911, the building boasts a “mini museum,” including the restoration of original architectural features and the Vault Room door. The Vault Room and doors, murals, stained glass, chandeliers, teller bars and marble were restored for diners to enjoy when owners Rozek and Fred Timko bought the building from Wells Fargo. The vault door, which weighs about 50,000 pounds, was painstakingly restored by hand after the flood of 2008.
Popoli will honor any gift cards prior to its closing date in May.
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