Chew on This: New Pizza Coming to Czech Village, New Mexican Food to Fairfax

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Riley’s closes and reopens under new owners

Hospoda, a new restaurant offering craft beer and a wood-fired pizza oven, is scheduled to open for November 2021 along SW 16th Avenue in the Czech village. (Elijah Decious / The Gazette)

Hospoda opens soon in the Czech village

A new pizzeria will open later this month in the Czech village.

Eric Lennie and Manny Maldonado are planning to open the new restaurant at 62 16th Ave. SW at Cedar Rapids, which will feature wood-fired pizzas and craft beers. Lennie told The Gazette that Hospoda is planning to open in the week leading up to Thanksgiving.

The name of the restaurant is the Czech word for “pub”.

The former occupant of the space, Aces and Eights Saloon, closed on July 12.

Riley’s Cafe locations closed, reopened

All three Riley’s Cafe restaurants closed in late October, according to a press release from the restaurant.

“Riley’s, like so many other businesses, has been hit hard by COVID-19 restrictions, labor and supply shortages,” the restaurant said in a statement. The property of Riley’s Cafe Corporation was sold in January 2020.

The popular breakfast house was founded by Phil Pankey, with its first location at 836 First Ave. NE at Cedar Rapids. It opened in June 2004 under the name Diner on First. Another later opened at 568 Boyson Road NE in Cedar Rapids, as well as Seventh Avenue in Marion. In August 2012, Riley’s caught the attention of President Barack Obama, who made a surprise breakfast visit.

The First Avenue location, sold to owners of Mas Margaritas in Cedar Rapids, will reopen with a Mexican-influenced menu, according to owner Richard Pankey.

The Boyson Road location reopened as Cruz’s Cafe, owned by Jade Luter, who also owns Kingston’s Steakhouse and Daisy’s Garage.

Richard Pankey said Marion’s location may reopen under new ownership.

Chilango’s brings Mexican food to Fairfax

A new Mexican restaurant will soon be opening at 515 Williams Blvd. in Fairfax.

Chilango’s renovated the old Charlie’s Restaurant space, which offered pizza, burgers and beer.

Chilango’s will offer on-site meals and take-out. No opening date has been announced.

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