A new seafood restaurant opened in Cedar Rapids last week, and residents will most likely recognize parts of the menu — especially if they dined at Boston Fish.
Lenore Zoll, who was the restaurant’s manager before it closed its doors last May after 77 years, was determined to bring Boston Fish back to the community. Zoll told Little Village in December she was planning to start a food truck and catering business, and that she’d “eventually” like to have another restaurant.
That “eventually” came pretty quickly. Zoll announced on Facebook in January that she was switching gears and now planning to open a restaurant, The Fish Store, with the tagline, “The original Boston Fish.”
As of Friday, March 6, the restaurant is now open at 4342 16th Ave SW, where Vivian’s Soul Food was formerly located.
Boston Fish was opened by Paul Howell in 1942 at 408 3rd Ave SE. The restaurant then moved to 126 First Ave NE, and in 1952, it relocated to its last location at 804 5th St SE. Zoll’s aunt and uncle, Suzette and Joseph Zoll, bought the restaurant in 1993.
The restaurant changed ownership again in April 2019 and is now the home to Bostons, a seafood restaurant that opened in January after an interior remodel and menu update. Zoll is not affiliated with the new restaurant; she and the new owners parted ways due to their differing visions for the business.
“After an impressive remodel, new innovative concepts and staffed with some amazing chefs, I looked around, and I came to the realization there was nothing left of all of you, your memories, your families,” Zoll said on Facebook. “I had to accept there was no more Boston Fish, which meant I couldn’t stand behind it anymore. This wasn’t what I signed up for, this wasn’t what I had promised you.”
“I’m taking our memories back, our traditions, our food. It doesn’t matter if it’s a different location or a different name. Those things didn’t make it Boston Fish, we did. The community.”
The Fish Store will serve fish sandwiches, seafood baskets, soups, desserts and a variety of sides. The restaurant is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“In 2000, Boston Fish would become my very first job, and who would have thought, years later, I’d be determined to make it [my] last?” Zoll said.