For almost 30-year straight, Dave Holschlag worked 7 days a week. Whether it was cooking the menu, stacking the buffet, or chit-chatting with customers – Dave owned and operated Dave’s Restaurant in Charles City basically on a non-stop basis.
Then this last week, Dave sold and passed off ownership of the restaurant. Many said Dave had ‘retired’.
Over the course of his 30 year ownership career, highs and lows were inevitable. Dave’s Restaurant opened on May 15th of 1991 in the now-closed Charles City mall. Dave recognizes that the 2020 pandemic has been terrible for the food service industry, but says the floods his restaurant endured in the 90s were easily his career ‘lows’.
The restaurant scraped by and when the mall was torn down, Dave’s Restaurant moved in 2003 to its current location. There Dave created a loyal base of customers and a ‘Cheers’-type atmosphere – a place where everybody knows your name – or at least, Dave knows your name.
Dave was hands-on with his customers and loved to make connections. He often tracked the heights of kids who came to eat on the famous ‘How Tall Wall’ – he also would hop from table to table in order to keep up-to-date with the lives of his customers.
This was his favorite part.
As stated above, Dave sold the restaurant early last week. He passed the keys to the new owner Kim McIntire (Kimmer) and promised to work part time at the restaurant. To Dave, it was time for him to take a backseat and let Kimmer implement her fresher ideas.
Dave’s Restaurant is currently closed to the public until October 6th as 2 days after Dave passed over ownership, a couple of the employees tested positive for COVID-19.