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The Fish Store

Local iconic restaurant offers family friendly atmosphere with classic fish lunch or dinners.

The Fish Store
4342 16th Ave SW
Cedar Rapids, IA
319.200.5004
Today's Hours: Closed
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Our Fish-tory

Lenore Zoll’s Fish Story


In 2000, Boston Fish became my very first job, and who would have thought years later I'd be determined to make it my last? Boston Fish was founded by Paul Howell in 1942. My beloved aunt, who had run Boston Fish for 30 years, suddenly and quietly passed away in 2018. I was honored to carry on her responsibilities. I was blessed to make this my new home, once again. It did not take long for me to understand the magnitude of what this place meant to the community and meant to me.

Overwhelmed with the responsibility of honoring such a legacy, I had almost forgotten that Boston Fish was on the market and had been for 6 years. I received a call from my Uncle that it had been purchased. We had only one month until the new owner would take over. Although I was hopeful that the new owner would carry on the Boston Fish legacy as we had done 30 years ago, it became apparent rather quickly that it was not the case.

We had one month to let the community know, for them to say goodbye to their memories created there for the last 76 years, and for me to make sure they could enjoy one last meal there. That month was hard on everyone, to say the least. I could not have done it without my staff. At the end, there were only a few employees left and a whole lot of customers who wanted that one last meal. We did our best while we were still grieving, understaffed and overworked. Our wonderful families and regulars even chipped in to help.
I will be Forever grateful to all of you.

I received a call from the new owner days before the Boston Fish was set to sail away forever. It seemed that we had gotten our point across. Honestly, how could anyone not see that the community was experiencing an overwhelming sense of loss over the end of a part of history. The phone call was short and sweet I was asked, Do you want to keep it going?
There was nothing I wanted more. I agreed. I joyfully spread the word. I needed to grab some staff and let the ones I had take a well-needed rest. So, I still closed my doors as planned.

7 months later

My Epiphany - Bostons vs The Fish Store
After an impressive remodel, new innovative concepts, and acquiring some amazing chefs, I looked around and came to the realization that there was nothing left of all of YOU, the community. Your memories, your families were gone. I had to accept there was no more Boston Fish. This 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 tried to walk away.

My heart and soul wasn't letting me walk away, however. There was no way I was going to let the community feel that sense of loss all over again. So, I decided not to walk away - from you, that is.

Now, Im taking our memories back, our traditions, our food. It doesn't matter if its a different location or a different name those things didn't make it Boston Fish, We did, The Community
I opened The Fish Store March 6, 2020, the 2nd week of Lent.
Opening a week and a half before the pandemic hit caused costly restrictions on my new business. We lost the month of Lent, the Catholic holiday, when I make most of my money for the year. Plus, we were 11 days short of being open in time to be eligible to get any kind of federal or state grant, loan, Payroll Protection, etc.

In the short week and a half open I realized I had done the right thing. This place means something to people. Their gratitude for bringing this place back to the community was overwhelming . This was what I was meant too to do and I just cant imagine us losing this  local icon - again.

Ive been so blessed without any federal or state help. Ive been able to stay a float for last couple months because of the communitys support. I can not thank everyone enough. I will continue to survive as long as I possibly can. The memories and the generations that have dined at Boston Fish and now The Fish Store deserve to have a place to reminisce in these unpredictable times. 

Gratefully,
Lenore Zoll