Vivian’s Soul Food permanently closes in Cedar Rapids

Vivian’s Soul Food, which opened its original location in Cedar Rapids in 2017, has announced its closure on social media. Vivian’s Express Grill, the business’s second location that opened in 2021, is also marked as “permanently closed” on Facebook.

“It is with sadness we share that we are closing our doors,” the Facebook post states. “…We are unsure of the exact immediate next steps at this time, but even with the closure of the business we are not deterred from having heavy involvement and influence in our community. We plan to be back in the future, applying all the learnings from this rodeo in the next venture.”

The post goes on to site the COVID-19 pandemic and the state of the economy as reasons for the closure.

In a 2021 interview, Briana Smallwood, co-owner of Vivian’s Soul Food Restaurant Group, told the CBJ that the worker shortage had been plaguing both Vivian’s locations.

Worker shortage threatens the food industry

“Thank you again to our amazing community,” the Facebook post continues. “Please visit our remaining local restaurants often, tip your servers well, and remember smiles are contagious and can change someone’s entire day.”