MARION – An iconic cafe will close its doors on Jan. 31, 2017.
The Marion Maid-Rite has been a fixture at the corner of 10th Street and Seventh Avenue for more than 30 years, selling its signature Maid-Rite sandwiches, piles of thin-sliced onion rings, tenderloins, hand-dipped malts, pies and other favorites.
Since the announcement of the closing earlier this month, customers have flocked to the restaurant to get their final Maid-Rite meals.
Related: Final photos of the Lincoln Cafe
Tom and Ellie Osborn opened the restaurant on Jan. 8, 1986, and their daughters, Teri and Nicole, are now co-owners and managers. Tom died of cancer in 2002.
The Maid-Rite sandwich in itself is legendary in Iowa, having been created in Muscatine in 1926. Butcher Fred Angell worked to combine a special cut of ground beef with a select blend of spices. When a deliveryman tasted the loose-meat sandwich, the story goes, he proclaimed it was “made right.”
Maid-Rite franchises now operate in several Midwestern states, with more than 25 locations in Iowa alone. Purists eat their sandwiches without ketchup, which is said to mask the flavors of the spices.
The Marion Maid-Rite will “turn the locks” to close at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 31. Find photos of the final days, below, and see more on their Facebook page.
(Photos © Cindy Hadish/Homegrown Iowan)