BeerBurger’s new location in downtown Iowa City is open

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BeerBurger’s second location in the former Zombie Burger space on Burlington Street. Friday, Jan 4, 2019. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

BeerBurger opened a second location on Monday, two years to the day after its original location in North Liberty opened it doors. The new downtown Iowa City location is at 108 E Burlington St, in the space formerly occupied by Zombie Burger + Shake Lab, which closed at the beginning of February 2018.

BeerBurger is locally owned by the Maingredient restaurant group, which also owns the downtown Iowa City nightclub Eden.

According to its website, BeerBurger “aims to bring back the social aspect of dining with family and friends” and is intended to be “our generation’s version of the ’50s drive-up.” (Of course, anyone familiar with parking downtown will understand the “drive-up” part of that vision is strictly metaphorical.)

K. Michael Moore reviewed the North Liberty location for Little Village in 2017, and called the food “tasty American fare with a quick nod to southern cookin’, and a second and longer nod to an upscale bistro.” Moore said the burgers were “tasty, well-made, smashed Iowa beef. They range from a straightforward cheeseburger to unusual toppings, including teriyaki pineapple or deep-fried mac & cheese. Each comes on a pretzel bun and, with upcharge, one can add anything from a fried egg to guacamole to beer cheese and more.”

(Right to left) BeerBurger managers Hannah Boyd and Leah Brownsberger with staff members Michaela Robertson and Jennifer Mora at the new Iowa City location. — Matt Steele/Little Village

If the burger options are well-beyond anything on offer in the ’50s, so are the variety of toppings available for the fries, which include options ranging traditional (chili-cheese) to upscale (truffle oil) to unusual (marshmallow fluff). For those in a more Canadian mood, there’s also poutine.

The menu at BeerBurger is more extensive than its name would suggest, stretching from chicken and waffles to sirloin steaks to a salmon sandwich.

As for the beer half of the restaurant’s name, Moore called the offerings on tap “impressive” and the wine and cocktail menu “fun.”

Then there’s the milkshakes and floats. Available in traditional and “Bam-Boozled” for the over-21 crowd, BeerBurger shakes and floats, like the rest of the menu, are customizable to your individual taste (choose, for example, Rumchata or Fireball to complement your Cinnamon Toast Crunch shake, or Godiva in your Toasted S’mores shake!).

The new downtown location will only be open limited hours for its first two weeks, from 4 p.m. to midnight. Normal hours start on Monday, Jan. 14, and the restaurant will open for lunch at 11 a.m.

A meal at the North Liberty BeerBurger. — Frankie Schneckloth/Little Village

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