King Tower Cafe on Business Route 30 on the eastern edge of Tama has reopened under new management. Vlaznim ”Jimmy” and Lajka Arifi have taken over the restaurant. The Arifis owned and operated a restaurant in Illinois for nine years before leasing it to another operator earlier this year.
The complex was opened in 1937 by Wesley Mansfield, who promoted it as one of the most modern twenty-four-hour truck stops in the Midwest. It consisted of a two-story restaurant building with an adjacent service garage, a filling station office, and a cabin camp in back. The cafe was air-conditioned. Both the filling station and garage were torn down several years ago [one of the cabins remains and has been restored]. The Indian-head neon sign was erected in 1950. Custom murals celebrating Tama County’s rich Meskwaki Indian history adorn the walls.