The Iowa City and Coralville locations of Falbo Bros. Pizzeria will reopen under new ownership. The S Gilbert Street location closed abruptly on April 5, when the staff walked out, after posting a sign on the door that stated: “This establishment’s owner, Barry, along with the entire Falbo’s corporation has failed to pay employees, and refuses to answer calls about this illegal failure.” The Coralville store was also shut down by an employee walkout.
“That was very disappointing to me, because I’ve been a lifelong fan of Falbo’s,” Andrew Ahrens, one of the new owners, told Little Village. “I can vividly remember the original Falbo’s location in Iowa City, across the street from Aero Rental on Gilbert Street. It was part of my childhood.”
Falbo Bros. is a chain of restaurants, the first of which opened in Madision, Wisconsin in 1992. The new ownership team of the Iowa City and Coralville locations will be primarily composed of Aherns and his business partner, Adam Brantman. The pair already own The Jobsite (which Aherns called “a kind of dive-ish bar”), as well as Coach’s Corner Sports Pub and Carl and Ernie’s Good Time Pub & Grub, all in Iowa City.
“When we saw that Falbo’s had closed, we did some asking around to see if we could acquire it,” Ahrens said.
Even though the new owners had nothing to do with the problems that made Falbo’s employees shut the store down, Ahrens said they are determined to make sure those problems are fixed.
“We’ve reached out to all of the current staff, and we’ve been able to get a hold of pretty much everyone. And we will make sure — with 100 percent certainty — that the staff gets paid what they are owed,” Ahrens said. “If the previous owner doesn’t do it, we will.”
“I’ve got nothing but good things to say about the staff,” he added.
The Gilbert Street location will be open this weekend, Ahrens said. A reopening date for the Coralville location has not yet been set.