Downtown Burlington bistro to close its doors after Tama Building fire cleanup blocks foot traffic

BURLINGTON, Iowa – A downtown bistro that gives jobs to those with disabilities is closing its doors next month partially due to the Tama building fire this past summer.

Tastefully Yours Catering and Bistro keeps customers, like Teddy Reid, fed during his midday lunch stop when he comes in daily for his “usual” sandwich.

“I come here on my lunch break to take some time and get the day back going right,” Reid says.

In the next month that’s going to change when the downtown lunch place closes its doors for good.

“Oh, I really didn’t know that,” replies Reid when he hears the news. “That was a surprise.”

The bistro gives job opportunities to people with disabilities through Hope Haven, but lately they haven’t been able to make ends meet financially.

“The building over there would be a factor the one that burnt and fell down and you have a hard time finding us,” says Bob Bartles, Executive Director of Hope Haven.

Since the Tama Building across the street caught fire last summer, the debris left over has made it difficult for some people to get around.

“We’ve heard from different businesses they feel it has had some impact,” says Eric Tysland, City of Burlington City Planner.

“It has affected our business, you've got to want to be here to make it through the maze,” Bartles comments.

Now, the workers must navigate themselves to find a new job.

“Well that’s going to be terrible, they did have a lot of great customer service here they really know how to treat people,” Reid says.

With the closing coming in the next month, frequent customers - like Reid - now need to seek out a new daily lunch spot.

Tastefully Yours will be closing officially on April 30th.

The city is looking to open Jefferson Street early next week.

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