The pandemic led to the closure of many eastern Iowa restaurants. Luckily, one popular venue is reopening its doors and starting fresh.

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People from all over the country came to Waterloo to check out Galleria de Paco. The restaurant quickly gained national attention for its unique atmosphere created by artist Paco Rosic. Rosic is a Bosnian artist who settled in Waterloo years ago. He specializes in illustration, aerosol, and mural work and brought his unique touch to a building in the city.

Rosic spent months painting a replica of the Sistine Chapel onto the walls of the venue using spray paint. He turned the space into a restaurant where he also acted as the head chef.

This eatery used to be a staple in Downtown Waterloo and was originally called Galleria de Paco. Owners of the establishment had to close their doors in May of 2020 after 14 years due to "the forced limitations and expense" they underwent during the height of the pandemic, according to KWWL. 

Now, the venue has reopened and it looks like this space is shifting from a restaurant to an event space, or as stated in a Facebook post, "Iowa's newly imagined premier destination venue."

Capella Magna can hold more than a hundred people; there is seating for 68 in the main hall and 50 people in the bar section. It is located at 620 Commercial Street in Waterloo, and staff is currently accepting reservations for anniversary parties, weddings, or other various major events.

Catering will also be available for people who are interested in booking this space.

To make a reservation it is recommended that you give them a call at 319 833-7226.

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