‘Iron Kettle’ May be Headed to Scrap Heap

The Iron Kettle buffet restaurant on 32nd Ave. S. in Grand Forks has been closed for the past couple days. A sign on the front door said “due to required maintenance, we will be closing our doors early. We will not reopen until Tuesday, February 28 at our regularly scheduled hours.”

But the place was closed on Tuesday at about 7 p.m., which would be during regular business hours. It was completely dark and the door had a padlock on it.

It was re-branded from the Golden Corral a few months ago. When it was tested by the health department in September, the Golden Corral got a 71 out of 100 on the sanitation tests. That was the lowest score in town. It was tested again as Iron Kettle on November 17 and got a 75.

And the comments on sites like Urbanspoon and Yelp tell of a bad experience for most:

Now to the food, the steak was either still walking around the grill or incredibly dry and tough. You could wear down your teeth just chewing. The chicken, shrimp and anything that stands alone without a sauce also was dry, rubbery and unappealing. The food was either overcooked or sitting under the heat lamps too long.

Another diner:

To sum it up it was our worst experience . We will not be going back. There was nothing pleasant about it. All the food was cold and tough and you could tell it had been sitting there for a LONG time and this was right at supper time so everything should of been fresh.

Yikes. Bad food and poor sanitation is pretty much the worst combination for a restaurant.

But we haven’t heard for sure if the place is closed. This is similar to how Denny’s was closed. Management put up a piece of paper that said they were closed for maintenance while guys were loading up equipment into trucks. Another chain, Grizzly’s, bit the dust a while back too. So that’s three chain restaurants relatively close to each other in the busiest retail area of the city that have closed within about 6 months.

But Pizza Ranch, Five Guys, Olive Garden and other places around there seem to be doing fine. And it shouldn’t be too long before Old Chicago Noodles and Company and Erbert & Gerbert’s opens up in Grizzly’s spot. (I don’t think Old Chicago has a building picked yet.)

I never set foot in Golden Corral or Iron Kettle. Did you?

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