Cedar Rapids restaurants Spring House and Gatherings to close

History of Spring House dates to 1969; Gatherings fails to get lease renewal from Bottleworks

George Ford
Published: October 11 2013 | 12:00 pm - Updated: 28 March 2014 | 9:41 pm in
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Two Cedar Rapids restaurants will be closing over the next five months for different reasons.

The Spring House, 3980 Center Point Road NE, will close no later than Nov. 3 to give customers with gift certificates as much time as possible to use them. The restaurant opened in November 1969 and hosted former President George W. Bush when he visited Cedar Rapids in March 2005.

Spring House Manager Jill Schmitz said changes in the economy led to the decision to close the restaurant. Schmitz said the restaurant also needed to remodel its restrooms to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, an expense the business could not afford.

Schmitz and her husband, Lester Schmitz, who took over ownership of the Spring House in 1990, set the closing date in November to give employees more time to find another job. She said the restaurant may close earlier if enough people find jobs and leave the restaurant short staffed.

Gatherings, located on the first floor of the Bottleworks Loft Condos at 905 Third St. SE, will be closing before its lease expires in late March. Tom Hauer, who operates Gatherings with his wife, Toni, said they couldn’t reach an agreement with the Bottleworks' homeowner’s association to renew their lease.

Tom Hauer says Gatherings, which opened in the fall of 2009, will remain open as long as it has bookings and events to host.

“We had a lot of fun with it," Hauer said. "It wasn’t our decision to close it."

Although they prepare to close Gatherings, the Hauers will continue to operate the kitchen at Julia-n-LeChef Catering, their catering business at 426 First Ave. NW.

Erin Foust of KCRG-TV9 contributed to this story.

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