CEDAR RAPIDS — Walk into The Edison Pub & Eatery, and you’ll immediately see homages to inventor Thomas Edison.
Prints of Edison’s patents hang throughout the space, and the light bulbs he’s famous for feature heavily in the decor, down to tiny lightbulb-shaped salt and pepper shakers.
For the Tika family, who opened the restaurant March 11 just off Blairs Ferry Road, the inventor’s ethos represents their own aspirations.
“It’s that hard work ethic that inspired us,” Val Tika said. “That’s what we bring as a family.”
Her brother Valon Tika is the restaurant’s owner, with her father, Sam Tika, as manager. She lives in Chicago and is handling marketing for the business.
“This has been a dream of our family for the last 20 years,” Sam Tika said. “A lot of people have dreams, but they never come true. Ours came true.”
The family previously owned Arrow Cafe in Lowden for 28 years, Sam said, and have owned other small town diners in the area over the years. Sam and his wife, Zuma, still live in Lowden.
They wanted the Edison to be something different.
The menu features appetizers like loaded Tater Tots and stuffed mushrooms, salads, burgers and sandwiches and entrees such as steaks, cioppino seafood stew and pasta.
“We have good hearty dishes, but we’re adding a twist to it, presented in a modern way for an American pub and eatery,” Val said.
Yet, they aren’t abandoning the small town diner ethos, she said.
“We really wanted to focus not just on food but on giving people an experience,” she said. “It comes back to our roots of having a diner. We want that feel to be here, too.”
The restaurant is large, with multiple seating areas, and they hope to open an outdoor patio later this spring. Inside, booths were made from Amish farm wood, Sam said, with interior design work by Interior Perfection in Hiawatha.
“Pretty much everything here is done locally, by hard working people,” Sam said.
Sam said, for him, the restaurant business is where his heart is.
“When you’re in this business, you cannot get out of it,” he said. “It’s caring about other people. It melts your heart, your feelings.”
If You Go
• What: The Edison Pub & Eatery
• Where: 475 Northland Ave. NE, Cedar Rapids
• Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday
• Details: (319) 200-6662, edisonseatery.com
l Comments: (319) 398-8339; email@example.com