Linn Street Dive (formerly Devotay) will reopen as a brick-and-mortar Marco’s Grilled Cheese

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The future Marco’s Grilled Cheese, 117 N Linn St, on Sept. 26, 2019. — Jordan Sellergren/Little Village

More than four months after Linn Street Dive closed down, owners Jade and Mark Paterno have announced their plans for the future of the Northside Iowa City restaurant: when the doors reopen on Nov. 1, it won’t be as Linn Street Dive, but Marco’s Grilled Cheese.

The Paternos are also the owners of the Marco’s Grilled Cheese food cart, a fixture on the Ped Mall since 2000. The space at 117 N Linn St will be Marco’s “first brick and mortar location,” the Paternos noted in a Facebook post on Thursday.

“The new Marco’s Grilled Cheese on Linn Street will offer the full Marco’s Ped Mall menu along with an expanded menu that will include popular street food items,” according to the post. “Marco’s Grilled Cheese will not serve alcoholic beverages.”

Linn Street Dive closed in May, after it was vandalized by an employee, who smashed glass and sprayed a fire extinguisher around the restaurant.

The short-lived restaurant opened in January, in the location formerly occupied by Devotay. The Paternos bought Devotay from owners Kurt and Kim Friese in December 2017. At first, the Paternos continued to operate the restaurant as Devotay — a mainstay of the Iowa City restaurant scene for two decades — but closed it at the end of 2018.

“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 a November 2018 statement, announcing their plan to close Devotay and reopen as a restaurant with “exceptional food, but with a more familiar menu.”

Linn Street Dive opened its doors on Jan. 22.

In their Facebook post Thursday, the Paternos said that the new Marco’s Grilled Cheese will open on Friday, Nov. 1, and “offer counter service for dine-in and carry-out customers. Hours of business will be 11 am – 9 pm Sunday-Thursday, and 11 am – 2 am Friday and Saturday.”

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  1. I wish them well but I’m a grownup who likes real dining. A business has to sell what people will buy, and kids will buy grilled cheese sandwiches. I hope they sell lots of them. I miss Linn Street CAFE.

  2. The town is lacking a Greek-style gyro option. The cart is the only option left since Sparti’s closed. It is a good gyro, but expensive and small (compared to what Sparti’s had). I hope the ones sold at the new locale will be a little cheaper and/or bigger.

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