Regardless of continued challenges, many eating places didn’t hesitate to start out new ventures

After 2020 delivered an unprecedented blow to eating places in every single place beginning with state-ordered closures for the then-novel coronavirus pandemic, 2021 was not with out its difficulties.

However regardless of the brand new and compounding challenges of 2021 — labor shortages, provide chain disruptions and rising enterprise prices, to call a couple of — a considerable variety of new eating places have opened within the Hall.

Listed here are a number of the meals tales Gazette readers appreciated essentially the most this 12 months.

MrBeast Burger began working out of Pink Robin in Cedar Rapids in 2021. (The Gazette/Elijah Decious)

1. MrBeast Burger brings ghost kitchen to Cedar Rapids

Cedar Rapids was added to the rising listing of American cities to get MrBeast Burger service — a ghost kitchen began by viral YouTuber Jimmy Donaldson.

The model, working out of Pink Robin in Cedar Rapids, makes use of present kitchens to fill orders for burgers, fries and grilled cheese sandwiches by supply service apps solely.

Scoop Coop began serving up ice cream at LP Avenue Meals’s Patio in Cedar Rapids in 2021.

2. Scoop Coop ice cream and The Hip-stir open

You all screamed for ice cream, at the least figuratively, as you flocked to Scoop Coop at LP Avenue Meals’s patio in the summertime. Later within the 12 months, lots of you have been intrigued by the eclectic menu and riveting inside design of The Hip-stir because it lastly opened up its eating room in September.

Each locations are a part of the Enjoyable Not Fancy Restaurant Group which expanded quickly in 2021, together with the current Cliff’s Dive Bar within the former Grin ‘N Goose area in downtown Cedar Rapids. In 2022, the group plan’s to proceed the momentum with Taco Gato.

Barrel Home opened in Marion on Dec. 6 (Barrel Home)

3. Barrel House announces a new Marion location

Barrel Home, a small Iowa-based chain with places in Davenport and Dubuque, introduced it will open a location on Tower Terrace Street in Marion in April. The placement, which initially deliberate its opening in the summertime, didn’t open until Dec. 7.

Barrel Home’s delayed opening was only one instance of delays that grew to become a part of the brand new regular for many eating places this 12 months, as eating places face delays for every thing from rooster wings to kitchen gear and constructing provides back-ordered for months.

Barrel House’s downtown Cedar Rapids location, which was introduced in June, stays on observe. Chris Posey, director of selling and franchise gross sales, mentioned that location is underneath building and may open early subsequent 12 months at 102 Second St., the place La Cantina Bar & Grill was.

The nautical-themed indoor, miniature golf course at Tavern Blue, 805 Second St., in Coralville, Iowa, on Friday, Aug. 6, 2021. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

4. Tavern Blue brings mini golf and Neapolitan pizza to Coralville

As autumn began to set in, Tavern Blue opened at 805 Second St. in Coralville to offer diners a heat escape with mini golf, brick-oven fashion pizza and extra.

A double with bacon and a fried egg and a aspect of onion rings at BurgerFiend, 2020 sixteenth Ave SW, in southwest Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Friday, Could 7, 2021. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

5. BurgerFiend expands, then contracts

In March, BurgerFiend opened a second location within the constructing the place it initially began at 2020 sixteenth Ave. SW in Cedar Rapids. It was initially positioned there from 2014 to 2017 earlier than shifting to Heart Level Street NE, the place the outdated Spring Home restaurant was.

However the all-beef brand’s time as a two-branch enterprise was short-lived.

Three months after opening on the Southwest aspect, BurgerFiend closed its Center Point Road NE location. Their advertising and marketing supervisor mentioned the restaurant anticipated a resurgence in enterprise on the Heart Level Street location that didn’t materialize as strongly as anticipated.

Cheryl Maloney flips a tray of heat pecan rolls onto a tray at The Eat Store in Solon on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. The bakery began out as a restaurant run by the proprietor’s nice aunt Mary Ann Drahos and her 5 sisters. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

6. The Eat Shop bakery in Solon brings family recipes back to the public

Seventy-one years after her great-aunt Mary Ann Drahos closed The Eat Store in Cedar Rapids, Cheryl Maloney introduced her recipes for pecan rolls, kolaches, cookies, pies and extra again to the general public with a bakery by the identical identify in Solon.

The Chicago native’s enterprise, which began from dwelling, “caught on like wildfire,” prompting her to open the storefront in August.

Locals actually have demonstrated they’ve a candy tooth — the bakery goes by 300 kilos of flour and 90 kilos of Irish butter each week.

Proprietor Mo Nasr poses for a photograph in entrance of the Keto Kitchen in Iowa Metropolis on Monday, April 5, 2021. (Andy Abeyta/The Gazette)

7. The Keto Kitchen brings a new type of dining option to Iowa City

After a ketogenic food regimen modified his life, Mo Nasr needed to make its advantages out there to anybody he might.

After making ketogenic meals at dwelling for workers from his different enterprise grew to become unfeasible, he opened The Keto Kitchen at 116 E. Washington St., which held its grand opening in March.

“It’s not a very simple food regimen to good, and the meals may be very onerous to make and make secure as a result of it doesn’t use flour,” Nasr instructed The Gazette in April. “We simply need to educate individuals the data of keto and present them it’s doable, it’s sustainable.”

Willie Ray Fairley, proprietor of Willie Ray’s Q Shack, checks on ribs after operating out of meals on the finish of a busy lunch rush at Willie Ray’s Q Shack in Cedar Rapids on Friday, Could 21, 2021. Fairley has been named by Fortune as one of many high 50 World Leaders for the generosity he is proven by feeding of us in the course of the derecho right here and in Texas after the ice storms in February. (Andy Abeyta/The Gazette)

8. Willie Ray Fairley is just getting started

In Could, Willie Ray Fairley instructed The Gazette that his prior acts of generosity have been just the start after being named considered one of Fortune Journal’s 50 Best World Leaders for 2021.

The proprietor of Willie Ray’s Q Shack on Blairs Ferry Rd. NE in Cedar Rapids has put his cash the place his mouth is since he grew to become identified for feeding hungry locals within the aftermath of the 2020 derecho.

In February, he went to Texas to assist victims of the ice storm, the place he spent a considerable portion of a $25,000 grant he acquired final 12 months from Uncover Card’s “Eat It Ahead” program to feed strangers. In September, he went to Louisiana to feed Hurricane Ida victims.

In December, he didn’t even assume twice about packing up to help those ravaged by tornadoes in Kentucky.

“It’s extra of an automated factor I need to do. When individuals don’t have locations to show to, somebody has to step up and get these guys one thing,” he mentioned. “If you happen to misplaced your complete dwelling, the least somebody can do is feed you. I’m not a carpenter, so I can’t construct a house, however I can feed you whereas another person does.”

9. Ramen Belly opens in Iowa City’s Peninsula neighborhood

Greater than 18 years after they opened Japanese fusion restaurant Takanami, John Lieu and Andy Diep entered a brand new enterprise with Ramen Stomach, opening at 1010 Martin St. in Iowa Metropolis in April.

The fast-casual eating idea affords a specialised tackle Ramen alongside poke, rice bowls and different Asian choices.

Lord Stephen Vary, co-owner of Birria Tacos, makes a birria egg roll in his kitchen at a cloud kitchen on First Avenue NE in Cedar Rapids on Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021. Lord Stephen Vary’s fast-casual restaurant is the primary within the 19-unit CloudKitchens meant to open doorways to startup cooks. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

10. Birria Tacos startup opens in Cedar Rapids cloud kitchen

Lord Stephen Vary opened his cloud kitchen in Cedar Rapids to supply birria tacos by a delivery-only service out of a brand new facility close to Lindale Mall at 4444 First Ave. NE, Suite 3001.

After two months cooking from dwelling, mounting gross sales ranges have been an indication that the meals was common sufficient for him to work out of one other kitchen. He began providing tacos on the Rapids Meals cloud kitchen in September.

Vary beforehand labored with Ali Mason, the person generally known as “Taco God” who helped popularize birria tacos in Cedar Rapids, earlier than parting methods over disagreements in December 2020. In Could, Mason opened The Hype Bar & Grill with Rich Burdine on the former Southside Steakhouse on Sixth Ave. SW.

Mason instructed The Gazette that he parted ways with Burdine in December and was not working at The Hype.

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