Cedar Rapids restaurant reopens exactly a year later - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Rapids restaurant reopens exactly a year later

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) - A year ago many people in downtown Cedar Rapids were scrambling to try to stop the water. By night fall the only thing left to do was wait. Thursday night one restaurant reopened at the exact time it closed last year.

Like most restaurants and businesses in downtown Cedar Rapids, when Zins were told to close just a year ago and evacuate they didn't think much of it, in fact they left all of their tables set inside the restaurant, but when returned to discovered the floods waters had destroyed the restaurant. They never a imagined that year later at the exact same time they closed they'd be re-opening.

June 11th, 2008 started out like any other day at Zins restaurant.

"We spent the day kinda walking down to the river and looking at it. And everyone kept reassuring us 'oh It'll never get down to you," said co-owner Amy Wyss.

Exactly seven month and one week from opening their doors, they had to evacuate

"We were told we evacuate after lunch, so we served lunch, left all the tables set and the we threw up a couple of sandbags," said Wyss.

At 4:15 pm Zins closed it's doors; the staff headed home for a long weekend. But a few sand bags couldn't hold back the water from the Cedar River.

"We stood across the street and watched the water start coming through the door," said Wyss.

After months of hard work and support from the downtown community, they're back; opening their doors at 4:15 pm, exactly a year after they closed.

"I'm so torn between being so emotional that a year ago that horrible thing happened and being so excited that we've moved pasted it. Just kinda little bit of everything I guess," said Wyss.

If the date isn't enough, a frame on the wall is a stunning reminder of where everyone's come from.

"We were set after lunch, so we left all the tables and then when we returned on tuesday, boom that was there," said Wyss.

The frame is a flood printed, mud stained table cloth, still set for dinner. Once destroyed by a disaster; now a work of art.

"Everything's perfect on it," said Wyss.

Wyss says she wishes they could have opened early but they're grateful to be open a year later. Which of course also falls the same weekend as the River Renaissance Festival; designed to remember all that's been lost and celebrate how much progress they've made.

Online Reporter: Lauren Squires
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