Is it a sign of the times? After spending years as a dine-in favorite inside Lindale Mall itself, Happy Joe's Pizza moved across the street to a stand-alone building at 5750 Lindale Dr. NE. What's been seemingly unofficial for several months has now become official, as Corridor Business Journal is reporting that the location has permanently closed and is up for lease.

CBJ says the "signs" began to be seen, literally, in October, that the restaurant was "closing until further notice" with no explanation as to why. Those signs have now been replaced by realtor signs saying the property is "for lease".

Two other locations, which are both carryout and delivery only, remain in the Cedar Rapids area, one at 3315 Williams Blvd. SW, the other at 1950 Blairs Ferry Rd. in Hiawatha, in the Peck’s Landing development. That means zero dine-in options remain for Happy Joe's fans in Cedar Rapids.

I spoke to an employee at Williams Blvd. SW, who could only tell me that the reason for Lindale Drive's closing is that the post-pandemic traffic in the restaurant has not been conducive to its size. Not enough customers returning to keep such a large location open, unfortunately.

If you've driven down the adjacent Collins Rd. lately things look different and will continue to do so. What used to be a dine-in Pizza Hut is now a T-Mobile store. Ryan's Steakhouse and Buffet was finally torn down to make way for a Raising Cane's Chicken location, only to have that company withdraw its plans there. The biggest news of all may be the impending January 2022 closure of a Hy-Vee store that has been in business for decades. It was announced among a series of the company's midwest stores closing in the coming weeks.

Signs of the times, indeed, and we will miss them all.

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