CEDAR FALLS — A tasty one-two “double header” of businesses is planned for the old My Verona space in the 400 block of Main Street — with one of them involving good heads of beer.
Waterloo brothers Walter and James Burtis plan to open the first Iowa franchise of Tampa, Fla.-based The Brass Tap Dec. 4. It will be located in the part of the building which previously housed Cafe Due and next door to Gary Kroeger’s Figaro Figaro restaurant in space previously occupied by Primo and also previously part of My Verona.
“The opportunity to go into Cafe Due opened up, and this was a opportunity my brother and I could not pass up,” said Walter Burtis. “With all the positive things happening in downtown Cedar Falls, we wanted to be part of that and help the community, not only to promote business, but also an opportunity to promote breweries” like SingleSpeed and Lark Brewing, both with locations on the downtown Parkade.
Dustin Whitehead of Lockard Cos. helped procure the location for the establishment, in a building owned by Tony Tomlynanovich of Tony’s Pizza, also in the same block.
“It’s a beyond perfect fit,” said Walter Burtis, a chef who previously worked in restaurants in Oregon and California as well as for Hy-Vee.
The Burtises wanted to be a “ground-floor franchise” of a brand “willing to work with small business owners to pursue their dream,” Walter Burtis said. “Ours was craft beer, good food, live entertainment as well as different events” and help grow the craft beer business in the state.
The restaurant represents about a $500,000 investment in renovation and equipment and will employ about 25 people.
The establishment will feature an “upscale pub menu,” Walter Burtis said, with food offerings that “pair off very nicely with different styles of beer,” including burgers, pretzel bites, wings, flatbread pizza and different kinds of nachos.
It’s the brothers’ first business endeavor together, and they hope to add locations in Waterloo and elsewhere in the state. Meanwhile they hope to be one more addition and enhancement to the growing mix of entertainment and dining options in downtown Cedar Falls.