116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
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Crosby’s brings New American to NewBo in Cedar Rapids
After pandemic delays, Crosby’s brings an extension of Midtown Station favorites with a twist
CEDAR RAPIDS — A New American restaurant years in the making has filled in the spot formerly held by Pig & Porter in NewBo.
With a sign noting “established in 2020,” Crosby’s memorializes a push past supply chain disruptions and a difficult labor market for restaurants. It held a soft opening on Dec. 1, 2021.
An extension of Midtown Station — and named for a former bar in the Roosevelt building downtown — one of the newest offerings from the Nanke restaurant group offers all the favorites from Midtown, making up about 40 percent of Crosby’s new menu.
“Some of our items on the menu I had ran as specials at Midtown. They sold really well,” said Ryne “Ryno” Bly, chef and managing partner at Crosby’s, who started with the Nanke group three years ago at Midtown Station. “Because Midtown is so small, it’s hard to add more items to that menu.”
If you go:
Where: 1028 Third St. SE, Suite 1, Cedar Rapids
Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Friday ; 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday; 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday; closed Monday.
Phone: (319) 200-4449
Details: Offering lunch, brunch and dinner for dine-in, carryout and delivery via CHOMP. Brunch offered on Saturday and Sunday. Dinner starts at 4 p.m.
Midtown regulars will recognize favorites like blackened salmon, crab-stuffed walleye, Nashville mac and cheese, slightly-modified crabcakes and the blackened tuna sandwich. Some items have been adopted with unique variations from the versions that continue to sell at Midtown.
After three years in Cedar Rapids, the former sous chef from Basta in Iowa City thinks he has figured out how to deliver elevated and unfamiliar items to Cedar Rapids palates.
“I just wanted to bring a little bit more of my Iowa City cooking out. When I came to Cedar Rapids, it was hard to adjust to palates here,” he said. “As close as (the two cities) may be, it’s a totally different experience when it comes to food and being able to create high-quality food. It’s not that people out here don’t want it, I just needed to make it approachable for people.”
Cheese appetizers like baked Brie and burrata — a fresh mozzarella ball stuffed with creamy mozzarella on a bed of sunflower seed pesto, topped with blistered cherry tomatoes — set the mood for a New American experience. Non-traditional items like rice noodle salad, banh mi and weekly specials like ramen and poke add variety.
With a chance to plate and present high-quality product, Bly is using four vendors to bring new offerings as a reasonable price.
“Just bringing something different that you can’t get anywhere around here,” he said. “It’s not that we’re crazy upscale, it’s just things that most people haven’t heard of or haven’t had a chance to try.”
That’s the niche for Crosby’s in a city that already has its fair share of American restaurants — elevating an experience to make the unfamiliar familiar. With an extension from the cozy space at Midtown Station, Crosby’s has taken on a new aesthetic. Behind floor-to-ceiling windows, a chic interior with calm blue walls and gold accents is brought to life by giraffe print carpet and Edison-style lighting.
The giraffe theme is a commitment completed by markings on the menu and emojis in every social media post.
“It’s funky, it’s different,” Bly said. “We liked it and just went with it.”
The drink menu, drawn up by bar manager Gabby Waltermyer, brings a half masculine, half feminine page with sweet and spicy offerings like mules and the Pineapple Japarita. Other offerings include a novelty rye drink with smoked rosemary, and favorites like the French 75 or Pear Drop Martini, which features pear vodka.
Eight taps offer a rotating selection of local beer alongside the wine and cocktail menu.
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