I know what you're thinking. "If it's so popular, why did it close?"

Well, Red Vespa Pizzeria in Solon was popular, and successful. In fact, according to the Cedar Rapids Gazette, its general manager Krista Stramel was named one of the 40 “Women to Watch” in hospitality by the Iowa Restaurant Association in 2020. Owners Aziz and Angie Longou said on Facebook:

With mixed emotions, we would like to announce the closing of Red Vespa. With limited staff availability, it has become difficult to meet our commitment to great food and great service

They made it 6 years before their struggles begin, not directly blaming the pandemic and current worker shortage issues, but the timing certainly appears as such. The Longous are leaving open the possibility of reopening in the future but have put the property up for sale.

Red Vespa specialized in Neapolitan-style pizza. Their last day of operation was April 3. We wish the Longous well and hope they find someone to take over the business who can maintain the standards they've developed over the past 6 years.

Meanwhile, we have an update on another area restaurant changing hands. Although they've found some leads, the folks at Joensy's in Center Point are also looking to turn things over. Dan and Deb Klouda are slowing down to health issues. Speaking with them during a couple of recent visits, it sounds like they have seen quite the run of visitors since the news broke that they were trying to sell. This bodes well for them and the business they took ownership of three years ago, after purchasing from previous owner Doug Joens, who opened in 1992 at 220 Franklin St. in Center Point.


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