Anvil Meat Market & Deli in Cedar Rapids’ Czech Village will close its doors for the last time on Thursday, owner Steven Prochaska announced in a post on Facebook.
“It is with regret that we are announcing Anvil’s closure as of Sept 30th,” Prochaska wrote. “There’s reasons, and I won’t bore you with all the details. It’s a tough go all around in the restaurant industry right now, not to mention small shop meat retail. “
Prochaska did outline some of the reasons for the Gazette. According to the paper, they include “the business costs of meat price volatility, difficulty finding employees, delivery service fees, [and] not receiving Restaurant Revitalization Fund money.”
Prochaska opened Anvil in May 2020, in the space that has been home to Village Meat Market and Cafe, which closed the previous December. That building at 16 Ave SW had been home to butcher shops for well over a century.
But the traditions at Anvil ran deeper than just its location. Prochaska’s great-grandfather once worked at Polehna’s Meat Market, the traditional butcher shop that served Czech Village from the 1920s until the flood of 2008. It was the closure of Polehna’s that inspired Lou Oettinger Thompson and Hugh Lamont to open Village Meat Market in 2011, their take on a Czech butcher shop.
When he announced his plan to open Anvil in December 2019, Prochaska talked about his intention to incorporate Czech traditions at the new shop.
“We are going to still have some of the old Czech recipes, and also in-house cured and smoked pastrami, corned beef, bacon, smoked sausage and more,” he said.
The pandemic, of course, made launching Anvil difficult, but Prochaska had expressed optimism about his chances.
In addition to Anvil, Prochaska also owns and operates The Sausage Foundry in NewBo City Market, which opened in 2014. He will be closing that shop as well. Its final day will be Oct. 31.
“It worked out pretty well, for a long time,” Prochaska told the Gazette. “I’m going to find something different to do with my life.”