Boston Fish restaurant in Cedar Rapids closing

Lenore Zoll, manager, carries a tray of lobster tail at Boston Fish Seafood Market and Restaurant in Cedar Rapids on Wed
Lenore Zoll, manager, carries a tray of lobster tail at Boston Fish Seafood Market and Restaurant in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — After 77 years in business, Boston Fish Seafood Market and Restaurant is closing.

The restaurant, 804 Fifth St. SE in downtown Cedar Rapids, will close on May 30, manager Lenore Zoll said.

She has been running the restaurant since her aunt Suzette Zoll died in September 2017. Suzette and her husband, Joseph, purchased the business in 1992.

Lenore Zoll said the building has been for sale for about five years, and though the family knew the sale would happen eventually, it still felt like a shock when it came.

Since she posted about the upcoming closure on the restaurant’s Facebook page, people have been coming in to share their remembrances of the eatery.

“It’s sad, but it will live on in memory,” she said. “I just want to thank the customers for sharing their stories with me.”

She said they were hoping to find a buyer for the building who would want to keep the restaurant going, but it didn’t work out that way. She declined to comment on who bought the building or what plans are for the space.


Though the Zolls currently have no intentions to reopen Boston Fish somewhere else, that might change, she said.

“If I could change things, I wouldn’t let the place go, to be honest. But you never know. We did keep the rights to the recipes,” she said.

Boston Fish started as a fresh fish market and added a restaurant in the 1950s. The fresh fish portion of the business closed in 1976, as the wholesale fish market got more competitive.

The building filled with 18 feet of water in the 2008 flood but reopened after a renovation. Two years ago, they obtained a liquor license and extended their hours to include dinner service.

The Zoll family previously had owned a second Boston Fish location in Hiawatha, and Lenore recalled working there was her first job, at age 14.

“My aunt — I don’t know what she would have done without this place. And it’s been a second home to me, too,” she said.

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