The former Kalona Family Restaurant building owner is seeking to fill the space with a business that will bring people to town.


The building that held the Kalona Family Restaurant has stood empty since the eatery closed late last year.

Stuart Yoder, who owns the building where the space is located, said he would like to see the building filled up with something that brings people to town.

“It’s a perfect opportunity for a business downtown,” Yoder said. “We know we can have a restaurant there, it’s a natural fit.”

Although another restaurant is what most people think of when they look at the empty space, Yoder said he thinks something else could succeed as well.

“I want something that fits the community of Kalona and brings people here,” he said. “Do we need a restaurant? Absolutely, but we need other things, too.”

Yoder said he’s spoken with several groups that have expressed interest in the space, but no one has pulled the trigger yet.

“I’ve looked into every inquiry so far,” Yoder said. “I’m open to anything that could succeed and there’s lots of awesome ideas that could work in Kalona.”

If he were able to find an interested party, Yoder said he would love to see an increased Amish or Mennonite presence downtown.

“People come to Kalona for that,” he said. “If we could bring Amish or Mennonite cooking downtown into that space, that would be a home run.”

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