Jimmy John's opens Iowa Building location in downtown Cedar Rapids

March 31, 2014 | 7:45 pm

Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwich Shop opened Wednesday on the first floor of the Iowa Building in downtown Cedar Rapids.

Nick Warson, area manager for Jimmy John's, said the doors of the 2,200-square-foot restaurant at 411 Third St. SE opened at 10:30 a.m. Warson said Jimmy John's corporate completed its final inspection on Tuesday.

Warson said the downtown location will be one of the largest Jimmy John’s in the Corridor. It will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and closed on Sunday.

"We started the day with about 20 employees who have been trained at our other locations in the Corridor," Warson said. "We also have some support from Jimmy John's corporate."

Marc Motzer, who with T.J. Graber owns Jimmy John’s locations in Cedar Rapids, Cedar Falls and Waterloo, said the typical Jimmy John's restaurant is about 1,500 square feet. The downtown store will have seating capacity for between 55 and 60 and also offer delivery service for a nominal fee.

Warson said orders for delivery in the downtown area can be placed by calling (319) 364-4024. Catering also will be available.

Motzer said the downtown Jimmy John’s eventually will employ three full-time managers and some 50 part-time employees. He said all of the new construction activity occuring in the downtown area convinced he and Graber that there is an opportunity for a well-known restaurant chain known for its quick service and delivery.

“The price was right for that spot, the size was right, and it is very visible for walk-in traffic as well as being centrally located for delivery to all areas of downtown Cedar Rapids,” Motzer said. “We debated for about a year whether the time was right.

“We became convinced that we needed to act now to get our foot in the door before the new federal courthouse, public library, events center and Paramount Theatre are completed and open to the public.”

Motzer said Jimmy John’s, which has more than 1,300 corporate and franchised locations in 41 states, charges a small delivery fee for each order. He said the number of people already working downtown who would likely take advantage of delivery also was a factor in the decision to open a store.

Motzer said the new Jimmy John’s is not expected to reduce traffic at either existing location — 4701 First Ave  SE and 2315 Edgewood Rd. SW.

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