116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
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Kingston’s Steakhouse takes place of Butcher Block in Cedar Rapids
New restaurant honors the memory of restaurateur’s son
CEDAR RAPIDS — A new restaurant in northeast Cedar Rapids is aiming to be your neighborhood steakhouse for both dressed up and dressed down occasions.
“Cedar Rapids needs a good neighborhood steakhouse,” said owner Jade Luter, who also owns Daisy’s Garage. “We have Cobble Hill and more fancy (options) downtown. We wanted to be a place where you not only go for a special occasion — we want it to be an everyday place you can make your special occasion place.”
Luter wants diners to come as they are.
“I want them to feel comfortable for a good meal, that’s the biggest thing,” she said.
Taking over the space formerly occupied by Butcher Blockhouse at 568 Boyson Rd. NE, Suite 100, the restaurant underwent a face-lift in just a few weeks between Butcher Blockhouse’s abrupt closure and Kingston’s opening on Aug. 25.
If you go
Where: 568 Boyson Rd. NE, Suite 100, Cedar Rapids.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Phone: (319) 536-7898
Details: Kingston Steakhouse offers dining with an ample indoor dining room and outdoor patio and bar. Large event spaces are also available to rent, complete with bars, kitchens and a dance floor
The large space, which includes ample seating indoors, 17,000 square feet of space available to rent for events and a large outdoor patio and bar, has been repainted from its former butcher block wood color and lightened. The site includes two full bars, two full kitchens and a dance floor.
Most lighting has been replaced, except for two focal point chandeliers, which capitalize on ambience. Chairs and booths have been painted and reupholstered with gold and white accents, lightening the room with a fresh look.
Keeping some similar items of its predecessor, the new steakhouse offers a variety of choice steaks including filet mignon, delmonico, porterhouse, New York strip and prime rib. Many sandwiches from the former menu have also stayed.
New to the menu are its pasta dishes, as well as appetizers like pork shanks, steak bites and salmon bites. A new tenderloin rounds out sandwich options.
With some time and care, Luter hopes to pack the steakhouse with the energy it had years ago. She also hopes to grow the restaurant’s lunch service. Butcher Block, which Luter said opened about seven years ago, did not offer lunch.
Alongside general manager Gretchen Edson, who ran Riley’s Cafe for 13 years, Luter said the restaurant has had an advantage of starting with more than 20 servers — notable in the current landscape of restaurant industry hiring struggles.
“I’m hands on, I work in the kitchen, I work in the dish room,” the owner said. “This is my job, it’s not my hobby. It’s my passion.”
Luter previously managed Butcher Block around 2012, at the restaurant’s downtown Cedar Rapids location. That site closed after Butcher Block’s Boyson Road NE location opened.
Luter’s first purchase was Lucky’s Bar and Grill at the space currently home to Cobble Hill at 219 Second St. SE. In 2017, Luter purchased Daisy’s Garage. But this new opportunity, she said, is more than a business move.
Twelve years after her son, Kingston, passed away at 8 weeks old from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), the opportunity to honor him feels “amazing.“ Kingston died nine weeks after Luter’s husband, leaving her with four children.
“I always wanted to have a restaurant named after him,” she said.
Daisy’s Garage was named before she owned it, and The Kingston Pub on First Avenue SW claimed the name up until the derecho, Luter said. Now, around the steakhouse, accents like angel wings and his initial, “K,” remind her who the space is for.
“I cried when I walked in the night of opening. It was definitely a happy cry,” she said. “I’ve been through it all.”
So when others ask if opening a steakhouse quickly is a big undertaking, she can easily say, “No.”
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