Sun Cafe and Zio Johno’s move, and Guild Wurst Tavern makes a major change

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Sun Cafe’s new location on Riverside Drive, Nov. 3, 2019 — Paul Brennan/Little Village

Two Iowa City restaurants are in the process of moving, and this will be the last week before a Coralville eatery dramatically cuts its hours.

Sun Cafe is relocating to Zio Johno’s former spot on Riverside Drive, while Zio Johno’s is moving around the corner, and will reopen in part of what used to be Paul’s Discount.

It’s a crosstown move for Sun Cafe, which had been in Iowa City’s east side since it opened in December 2015. The move means a bigger space for the Vietnamese restaurant.

A June 2016 Little Village review praised Sun Cafe’s pho as “a cut above the rest,” and its “Mì Vịt Tiềm is unrivaled anywhere in the city … [it is] a complex combination of shiitake mushrooms, roast duck, bok choy and egg noodle served with a whole duck thigh.”

Zio Johno’s new location at the former site of Paul’s Discount, still under construction, Nov. 2, 2019. — Paul Brennan/Little Village

Zio Johno’s plans to open its new location at 342 Hwy. 1 West by the end of the month. The restaurant, which has grown to five area locations after starting in Cedar Rapids in 1984, is a longtime favorite for Iowa City families and college students looking for bucket-sized meals of spaghetti and other American-style Italian food.

Eli Khairallah, the owner of the Zio Johno’s restaurants, told the Gazette in May that the new Iowa City location would serve as a model store when he starts to sell Zio Johno’s franchises.

Guild (formerly Guild Wurst Tavern), 53 2nd St, Coralville, Oct. 30, 2019. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

Guild Wurst Tavern recently shortened its name to just Wurst. The restaurant and brewery opened on the Coralville strip in June 2017, and now it is cutting back its hours and offerings.

“As of November 10th we will no longer be open for regular business,” the owners wrote in a post on the Guild’s Facebook page last week.

The restaurant will open “for many home sporting events,” and will continue to serve brunch on Sundays, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. It will also offer catering for groups of 10 or more. The owners encourage fans of Wurst’s current menu to visit soon, as several items will not be available going forward.

“With this change we hope to find a sustainable place in the Coralville and Iowa City market to provide food, drink, game day, catering, event, and a group gathering space,” the owners wrote in the Facebook post. “We are so thankful to all who came through our door and especially to those who have returned over and over.”

The post concludes, “Guild goes on just a little bit different.”

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  1. I think what you mean is that its name is changing to just “Guild”? Based on the sign, that is.

    Sad news either way.

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