RESTAURANTS

Chew on This: Lindale Mall Maid-Rite closes after 40 years; Smoke'n BBQ Pitts plans to leave NewBo

Smoke'n BBQ Pitts owner Jim Pitts carves up beef brisket Oct. 4, 2018. Pitts will close the eatery on Sept. 27 in NewBo
Smoke’n BBQ Pitts owner Jim Pitts carves up beef brisket Oct. 4, 2018. Pitts will close the eatery on Sept. 27 in NewBo City Market. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
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Maid-Rite

After nearly half a century, the Maid-Rite at Lindale Mall in Cedar Rapids closed Aug. 28. The eatery had sold the iconic Iowa loose meat sandwich, shakes and more at the mall since around 1980. Manager Jillian Hopkins said owner Kenneth Cook first started in the mall on Sept. 1, 50 years ago, when he opened a caramel corn shop, before later opening the Maid-Rite. She said that at one point he owned four Maid-Rites in the area.

“It’s been a GREAT 50 years,” a post on the restaurant’s Facebook page said. “Thank you for all the business and support through the years!”

Smoke’n BBQ Pitts

At NewBo City Market, another vendor has decided to close. Jim Pitts opened Smoke’n BBQ Pitts at the market at the end of September 2018. Two years later, he will close it, with the last day scheduled for Sept. 27.

“I assure you it was not a decision made lightly, but with COVID and now derecho we have with resolved hearts decided to close,” Pitts wrote on Facebook. “ ... It has been such an honor and thrill to serve you all! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!”

This is the latest in a series of closures at the market, which has suffered during the pandemic and related shutdowns. One More Bite, City Melt, Get Fresh and Paulita’s Pastries also have closed their market shops since March.

Comments: (319) 398-8339; alison.gowans@thegazette.com

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