A finer look for landmark diner

It took 10 days of being closed to open up a brand new feel to Doo Dah’s diner in Marshalltown.

That “brand new” feel also has a down-home old style appeal to it.

The diner at 128 E. Main St. in Marshalltown completed a major renovation Thursday and is now open. The floor-to-ceiling remodeling includes barn wood, antiques on the walls and several other upgrades.

“In the 33 years I’ve been doing this I’ve always wanted a cafe with the appearance that this has and I have it now,” said Craig Robinson, who owns Doo Dah’s with his wife Kristine. “I love it.”

Designer T.J. Monzo, a native of Marshalltown now living in Maryland, approached Robinson about her ideas for the renovation.

“They were thinking about redoing things anyway,” Monzo said.

Both Monzo and Robinson say the interior now “sizzles” with excitement.

Eleven different customers donated antiques and artwork with the most eye-popping being the front end of a 1949 Plymouth, from Hogeland Auto Plaza. There is also a portion of the wall near the entrance dedicated to veterans.

Robinson said the restaurant’s interior now has that Iowa country, home-style feel to it.

“It really gives you an at home feeling,” Robinson said. “There’s been nothing but praise (from customers). It’s been off the charts fantastic.”

Along with the new interior, Robinson has also added new items to the menu to expand from its staple burger and fries option. Customers can now choose from several new offerings including prime rib sandwiches, French dip and tuna melts.

With the current renovation of the Tallcorn Towers and this block of Main Street going through updates after last year’s fire, Robinson feels the area is on the upswing.

“There’s just a lot of promise,” he said.