Guild Wurst Tavern opens in Coralville

Owner Daniel Dickel behind the bar at the Guild Wurst Tavern. — photo by Frankie Schneckloth

In June 2016, the former Bar’Ber Shop restaurant was forced to close its doors after the City of Coralville purchased its building as part of a citywide flood mitigation effort. After more than a year hiatus, The Bar’Ber Shop is back, albeit with a new name, change of location and revised concept. The new iteration, Guild Wurst Tavern, owned by Kara and Daniel Dickel, James Kinkade and Devin Dickel, opened to the public on July 27.

Now open for business in their new space at 53 2nd Street in Coralville, regulars of the former Bar’Ber Shop will notice familiar details carried over into the new establishment. With his father’s help, co-owner Daniel Dickel salvaged as much of the hardwood from their former location as possible, putting it to work in the new space by fashioning the pieces into high-top tables and an expansive bar. In addition to the furnishings, over half of the serving staff from the former Bar’Ber Shop have joined the Guild Wurst Tavern family including front of house manager Sarah Mattus and executive chef and co-owner James Kinkade. “Our people are really like family and that’s what makes it different here,” Daniel Dickel said.

In addition to the tight-knit community of staff, the food and drinks at Guild Wurst Tavern are set to be a draw for diners. Executive Chef James Kinkade will not only oversee the culinary aspect of the restaurant, bringing his unique flair and attention to the dishes, but will also develop the brewery operation that will be housed in the back of the building. An avid-home brewer, Kinkade recently apprenticed under Van Houzen brewery in Tiffin and has plans to brew beer in-house under the name Boot ‘n’ Flute Brewery.

A mural by the front entry promotes their in-house brewery, Boot ‘n’ Flute. — photo by Frankie Schneckloth

“When the head chef and the head brewer is the same person, it’s a lot of work to get the restaurant open, so as we get the staff trained and things figured out, James will be freed up to not be in the kitchen and he can get the brewery set up. We expect to have beer on tap within two months,” kitchen manager Eric Beck said.

And because nothing pairs better with beer than sausage, the focus of Guild Wurst Tavern’s food menu will revolve around a variety of house-made sausages.

“Sausage and beer; you can’t really go wrong,” Beck said. “We grind pork butt everyday and stuff casings everyday and have about six varieties of sausages right now with plans to venture out and do special blends as we get settled in and feeling creative.”

Patrons looking for something other than bratwurst and Italian sausages can rest easy. A selection of burgers and vegetarian options are available as well. The Tavern’s Brisket Bar’Burger, comprised of 75 percent ground brisket and 25 percent ground chuck, is prepared simply with American cheese and condiments, eschewing wild mad-scientist inspiration for a good, juicy, classic burger.

The suppers offered at Guild Wurst are also something that have been catching diner’s eyes. “When I set the plate down in front of them, their eyes just get big because it’s a giant plate of food,” Beck said. With their signature sausages as the focal point, the supper plates serve the sausage alongside a generous selection of sides, vegetables and hand-crafted sauces.

Topping out at 62 seats, Guild Wurst Tavern is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. serving lunch, dinner and a few all-day breakfast dishes.

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