A Maquoketa restaurant is closing after more than 35 years of operation.
Flapjacks Family Restaurant, located at 101 McKinsey Ave., announced Wednesday the eatery would close effective at 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 30.
“We have decided to close our business,” said Jill Thompson, whose family owns the business. “We have had 36 wonderful years in Maquoketa. Thanks to all of our patrons. It truly was a family restaurant, getting to know so many people and having great employees over the years.”
Thompson declined to comment on the reasons behind next week’s closure.
She said the restaurant has not been sold.
Longtime waitress Shelbe Krogman said many employees first learned the news Wednesday. Flapjacks employs more than 30 part-time and full-time employees.
Krogman cried as she talked about her 27 years working at the restaurant. Krogman’s enthusiastic friendliness — is known to always calling customers by name and give those she knows a hug when they walk in the door — has drawn patrons to the restaurant for years.
“I love my customers and my co-workers,” Krogman said, her voice thick with emotion. “I’m sorry. I keep crying. It’s really hard to leave something I love so much. Thanks for all the years.”
Krogman worked at Flapjacks until she graduated Maquoketa High School. She went to college to become a teacher, but quickly realized she loved waitressing too much.
“I missed waitressing,” she said. “I love every minute of it.
As word spread of Flapjacks’ closing, customers asked Krogram if she would take over the restaurant.
“I just laughed,” she said, saying she’s not buying the restaurant. “I love waitressing, but I love to do my job and leave it there.”
The family restaurant opened its doors at the corner of Highway 61 and McKinsey Avenue in 1983. Since then, the numerous wait staff and cooks have served up millions of meals to new and returning customers. The restaurant provided first jobs and paychecks to many high schoolers through the years.
Many reunions, club gatherings, and family celebrations have taken place in the building. The basement gathering space also had hosted numerous political rallies and candidates giving stump speeches on their way through Maquoketa.
Flapjacks has been a family restaurant in every sense of the word, according to Wendy McCartt, Maquoketa Area Chamber of Commerce director.
“Flapjacks has been a staple in Maquoketa for more than 35 years,” she said. “We are sad to see their doors close. Where one door closes, another opens, and with the great location and amount of business that Flapjacks is doing, it brings a wonderful opportunity for a new owner to have continued success at the location.”