"It's kind of nice to bring something that's been here before back to your hometown," said Brad Akers, "I think it will add something different to West Liberty, a family atmosphere."
The Akers family will be opening a Maid-Rite in the northwestern part of West Liberty off of Highway 6. The franchise, known for its fresh ground beef sandwiches, operated in the area years ago.
Now Akers wants to bring it back, plus expand upon the original menu. It's a little bit of the old mixed with a little bit of the new.
"It's a Maid-Rite, yes, but ice cream will be another main component of our shop," he added.
Maid-Rite boasts midwestern food with a 1950s style, an obvious take away upon looking inside the West Liberty location. Red seating and interior mixed with neon lights, photographs and a classic looking counter add to the experience.
Along with ice cream, it will focus on lunch and suppertime meals that include the classic sandwiches, as well as provide food to be catered at events.
The restaurant will attempt a sophomore opening later in the week, but plans to be open full-time by Monday, March 24. According to Akers it's bringing in around 8 to 10 part-time/full-time jobs.
Under the guidance of Manager Clint Smith, the WL Maid-Rite will hold an official grand opening later in April after it's had time to work the kinks out.
It will also be the only restaurant to have a drive-through, something Akers has worked hard on to ensure that families have easy and quick access to the restaurant. Business hours are scheduled for 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. every Monday through Sunday.
However, this won't be the first business venture for Brad and the rest of the Akers family. Along with Steve Cline they opened a Subway years ago, which still continues to operate.
As a developer of commercial properties, Akers was excited by the prospect of bringing the restaurant to town.
"I'm kind of a developer," he said, "So it's nice to step out of my comfort zone for a bit. It's a family idea for the Akers in general. I just kind of did a lot of the leg work."
The franchise is headquartered in Des Moines, under the Corporation's CEO and president Bradley L. Burt. He's excited to add West Liberty to the Maid-Rite family.
"The community itself needs a restaurant like Maid-Rite," he said. "It has high visibility, it's near the school and the community is positive."
According to him, the community is just the right size, and centrally located between Muscatine and Iowa City. He too referenced Maid-Rite's history in the community.
"Years ago there was one in town, it lasted for about 30 years," he added. "We have a loyal following of customers and people that know us. People know our sandwiches and they know us."
Even with its history, a short conversation with Brad Akers shows he's focused on the here and now.
He also plans to develop an eating area outside in front of the restaurant in the future. From promotional campaigns to working with the schools, he's building the WL Maid-Rite that's here to stay.
Welcome back, Maid-RiteJacob Lane · Wednesday, March 19, 2014