Downtown Iowa City restaurant Forbidden Planet Pizzeria & Video Arcade will close next week.
Owner Thomas Connolly said the restaurant, open since Nov. 2015 on the Ped Mall, will reopen later this year with a new concept and a new name. He plans to call it The Dandy Lion and serve breakfast and lunch during the first half of the day before operating as a coffee shop and cocktail bar after lunch.
“We’ll be offering simple, well-done diner fare, and then closing the kitchen in the afternoon,” he said.
The Forbidden Planet’s arcade games will be sold, he said. For the new venture, he is teaming up with Lindsay Chastain, who has been working at the Clinton Street Social Club and owns the jewelry business Sauvaged. He hopes to reopen by mid-March.
Connolly said the decision to close Forbidden Planet was prompted by the departure of his two business partners, Luther Moss and Cory Ingle, as well as by the competitive nature of the restaurant industry. He hopes the cafe and coffee shop model will be more successful.
“I think there is an underserved aspect of the market,” he said. “We’re sorry to see it go, but we’re also excited to try something new.”
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