Iowa City’s Northside to Equip New Breakfast Restaurant: Goosetown Cafe
When former Motley Cow Cafe general manager Peter Kessler saw the beloved Northside restaurant close last year, he knew three things: he wanted to open his own restaurant, he wanted to open it in the Northside of Iowa City and he wanted to serve breakfast.
All of these goals will be achieved when Kessler and his staff open the Goosetown Cafe this week. The cafe will open at the location of the former Northside Bistro, 203 N. Linn St., Iowa City.
With an all-day breakfast menu that’s a “fun and youthful twist on classic American breakfast,” Kessler said, Goosetown will feature homemade Pop-Tarts, eclectic scrambled eggs, adventurous cereal bowls and more. Again.
The restaurant will also have a dinner menu, but Kessler said the restaurant’s menu will focus on breakfast.
Kessler worked with David Wiesnek, former owner and chef of Motley Cow, to develop the extensive breakfast menu. Taking insights from one of the city’s most respected chefs was helpful in differentiating the restaurant menu from two other Northside neighbors, Hamburg Inn No. 2 and Bluebird Diner – arguably the two most successful breakfast restaurants. most popular in Iowa City. Queues at the gates of both are a regular sight on weekend mornings.
“We’re opening a breakfast restaurant in a breakfast neighborhood. My goal was not to do what other people were doing,” Kessler said. “They do it well, and there is no need to provide an already provided breakfast menu. There are already long lines of people here who want breakfast. Why not come up with something new for these hours of the day? “
To bring something new to the Iowa City breakfast scene, Kessler has recruited former Atlas and One Twenty-Six chef Tyler Leiss as Goosetown’s chef to lead the kitchen that will bring touches. imaginative at breakfast.
Instead of cinnamon buns, Kessler said Goosetown will serve fried banana tempura with ice cream and chocolate syrup. Instead of Danish, homemade Pop-Tarts, stuffed and flavored with local chokeberry berries. Scrambled bowls with locally made bologna, cheese and tofu, breakfast sandwiches, cereal bowls and more will fill the breakfast menu.
Leiss said he had the most fun in his new kitchen building the Pop-Tarts. “It’s one of those things that will sell really well because it’s so identifiable,” he said. “But not many people have probably had one home made.”
He added that Pop-Tarts will be cheaper and faster at the table – Leiss believes they will sell like hot cakes.
Goosetown will also offer a full dinner menu, which is still being finalized, as well as a full service bar.
Becca Breazeale, who will head the bar program in Goosetown, said it will offer “high strength, low strength and no strength” drinks. While there are drinks with higher alcohol content, lighter drinks mean people can stop before or during the workday and “not trip down the stairs when they return to work.”
Breazeale said she has paid special attention to building tasty and vibrant proof-free cocktails, or non-alcoholic cocktails, to ensure that even those who don’t drink alcohol can have a fun drink.
In addition to a traditional Bloody Mary, Goosetown will also serve a green Bloody Mary made with tomatillos and other green vegetables.
With breakfast all day, Kessler said Goosetown will open at 7 a.m. and stay open until the bar closes after 10 p.m. Wednesday through Monday. The restaurant will be closed only on Tuesday.
The closure every Tuesday instead of Sunday or Monday like many other restaurants is a direct nod to people who work in the food industry. Keller, who has worked in restaurants for a decade, said many in the food industry have Sundays and Mondays off, so he wants to be an unofficial home for cooks, waiters, managers and the like in the world. food industry in Iowa City.
With around 15 staff in the front of the house and 15 in the kitchen, Kessler said Goosetown should be able to accommodate 99 people inside and 16 outside.
Since the sudden closure of Northside Bistro in early January, the space has quickly transformed as Kessler aims to make the space look and feel much more open. Gone are the awnings over the large windows on the outside that blocked the sunlight. Gone are the walls that divided the space inside. He wants to make the restaurant as open and welcoming as possible.
“We want this to be accessible to a lot of people. Hopefully we can be a community hub for the Northside and the rest of Iowa City,” Kessler said.
The restaurant’s name comes from the Goosetown neighborhood in the north corner of Iowa City, just off the Northside. The neighborhood got its own name because many of its residents owned geese and let them out every morning.
The addition of Goosetown Cafe is just the latest step in the must-see transformation of Northside’s commercial landscape.
Motley Cow closed in 2017, prompting Kessler to find his own restaurant. A fish and meat market is currently underway in space.
The Home Ec workshop moved from Linn Street to Jefferson Street, allowing the new Willow and Stock flower shop to open last year. Taste of China was closed and bought by neighbor Sonny’s Tap in 2017. Sonny’s Tap replaced IC Ugly’s, which was bought by local real estate agent Tracy Barkalow in 2016. Decorum, the former antique store, has closed and El Bandito’s recently expanded to the old store location. In 2015, Linn Street Cafe closed and Bashu opened in its place the following year.
Just three months ago, the old building that housed the State Central Bank was demolished to make way for a five-story mixed-use building.
Contact Zach Berg at 319-887-5412, zbe[email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @ZacharyBerg.