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All signs point to Beer Burger heading to Iowa City’s Northside


Beer Burger — photo by Frankie Schneckloth

We’re filing this under “might happen,” not “is happening,” but several sources close enough to the situation to be considered reliable are all nodding their heads yes: The new restaurant going into the former Motley Cow Cafe space (160 N Linn St) will be a fast casual version of the North Liberty restaurant Beer Burger.

This rumor has created a lot of buzz. So far the MAiNGREDIENT restaurant group has refused to confirm or deny the news. However, sources who have been in communication with the restaurant group, but who wish to remain anonymous, say the restaurant is likely headed to the Northside.

In case it’s true, here’s what you need to know:

Beer Burger

To answer the frequently asked questions, Beer Burger is not a chain, and it is not owned by the Etre Restaurant Group. It is owned by MAiNGREDIENT, led by John Burchert, which has partnered with the Etres on EDEN Lounge and the Iowa Chop House. The original Beer Burger opened on Dec. 31, 2016 in North Liberty.

Beer Burger’s offerings are not limited to beer and burgers. A February 2017 review published by Little Village described it as “tasty American fare with a quick nod to southern cookin’, and a second longer nod to an upscale bistro.”

The word is this new location will follow the “fast casual” model that has been popularized recently in Iowa City by Big Grove Brewery and Dumpling Darling: Patrons order from a cashier, and go take a seat. A self-serve tap beer system similar to the one employed by Iowa Chop House and the North Liberty Beer Burger is also said to be in the works.

This story will be updated if a confirmation or denial is received from MAiNGREDIENT.


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