Devotay is closing

Devotay Restaurant and Bar at 117 N Linn St, Iowa City. — Adam Burke/Little Village

After more than two decades as a staple of the Iowa City restaurant scene, Devotay is closing.

“With a heavy heart, we now announce that we will be closing Devotay on New Year’s Eve and will reopen as a new restaurant in January, 2019,” owners Mark and Jade Paterno said in a statement posted to the restaurant’s Facebook page on Tuesday.

Devotay was opened by Chef Kurt Friese and his wife Kim McWane Friese in 1996. The Frieses were leaders of the local slow food movement, and they named their restaurant after their children, Devon and Taylor. Devotay quickly became known for its Mediterranean fare, with an emphasis on Spanish cuisine, such as paella and tapas.

The Frieses announced the sale of Devotay last year on Dec. 5, the 21st anniversary of the restaurant’s opening. The Paternos took over at the beginning of this year. Kurt Friese died suddenly on Oct. 26, but the current owners did not indicate whether his death had any impact on their decision to close the business.

“In the simplest of terms, Devotay worked with Kurt and Kim at the helm. Unfortunately, we were unable to make the Devotay model work for us,” the Paternos said in their statement.

While we deeply love Devotay and are sad to see it close, we are also excited and optimistic to create a new restaurant of our very own. Our goal with the new restaurant will once again be to offer exceptional food, but with a more familiar menu.

Devotay’s hours will remain the same through December, with dinner service Tuesday through Sunday, and brunch on Sundays, and there will be a final dinner on New Year’s Eve.

“We will announce details about our new restaurant and menu soon,” the Paternos said.

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