We sure are going to miss these folks!

To say I am devastated would be an understatement. Management at Fresh Deli & Grill in downtown Cedar Rapids posted on Facebook that their last day in operation will be June 30. Located inside the Alliant Energy building, two blocks from where I work, this spot was as convenient as it got for a quick lunch, especially after the closing, right in the Plaza 425 building, of the once-popular Prairie Soup Company a couple of months ago. (They're still open in NewBo).

Fresh Deli & Grill, Facebook
Fresh Deli & Grill, Facebook

Salem and Marbett Daoud ran the restaurant since 2015, after taking over the former Mr. Beans' coffee shop. They haven't said exactly why they are closing. There's been a ton of flood wall construction going on in the area though, and in their message, they said "a special THANK YOU to Alliant Energy for their unwavering support since day one and especially throughout the pandemic. We couldn't have dreamed of having a better landlord on our side throughout the years".

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I liked to call it the "best-kept-secret" downtown, and maybe I didn't help get the secret out well enough. Fresh Deli & Grill used to have an awesome soup, salad, and potato bar that I would enjoy when co-workers and I would walk down there. They never brought that back after the pandemic, but lately, I've been doing most of my ordering there through carryout.

Like their name implies, they serve fresh deli sandwiches, burgers, grilled entrees, and salads.

Yeah, they serve(d) breakfast, too. I once ordered a breakfast burrito from them and ended up getting two meals out of it! One time, they gave me a free cup of soup with my meal, because my order was ready "on time" as opposed to early. It was I who was early and they felt bad having me wait. Always a cozy atmosphere, they were pretty much my perfect place.

To the staff at Fresh Deli & Grill inside Alliant Energy, thank YOU for your years being a fantastic downtown breakfast and lunch option, and while I look forward to seeing what's next for the spot, I will miss the current occupants terribly!.

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