‘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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16 thoughts on “‘Iron Kettle’ May be Headed to Scrap Heap

  1. I think for the first couple months of the Golden Corral opening the food was actually pretty good for the price. The place was packed and the food was fresh. It took a nose dive from there and each subsequent visit resulted in a worse experience than the last. It got to the point that we just won’t go back. As far as I am concerned that can change the name but I don’t think it fixed the reputation.

  2. When the Golden Corral first opened it was pretty good but it went downhill very quickly. I haven’t been there for over a year and was never there while it’s been Iron Kettle

  3. You know, I had cravings from time to time for buffet. So I TRIED to convience the wife to go there…everytime we left, we were so disappointed. I am not surprised. But correct me if i’m wrong, blogger, but isn’t Noodle and Co AND Erberts and Gerberts going into old Grizzly’s? Not Old C? Maybe they’ll take over “Iron Corrale”.

  4. Golden Corral in the south is a great place to eat, food is always hot, fresh and the area is cleaned every 15-30 minutes. I was excited to see it come to town but knew it wasn’t right once the Golden Corral trainers left. Very disappointed and can’t wait to go home and eat at a real Golden Corral!

  5. Golden Trough. I was there twice because someone else thought it was a great place to eat. Too many people serving up their own food not a good thing. All those people breathing, touching, coughing, spitting on the food… well… yuck.

  6. I not only worked there but at times ate there while it was Golden Coral. At first it was good like what was said when the training staff was there. Then it switched management and the food got worse and the turnover rate was crazy. Cleanliness was always an issue. When they had the plates up front where the cashier handed them out they were stuck together with food a lot. The dishwasher was not working right and would not heat up hot enough to clean and even meet FDA requirements. The back was at times was pretty bad. Employees had trouble getting the hours they were promised. I never ate there since it has been Iron Kettle but with the sounds of it I am not in the mood to eat rubber and worry about catching something.

  7. It is sad to see any business close as it means less income coming into the the city and state. Anyone can see that in addition to the employees that local companies also suffer.

  8. @firg voss reporting – the sign says “Casa Mexico Restaurant Opening Soon” it’s said that since January 25. I saw them put the letters up that very day. Haven’t heard anything else since.

  9. The people who bought it ran it into the ground and then ran out of town and now the golden corall is opening back up soon and I always thought they had decent food, (golden corall.)

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