116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
HIAWATHA — A new breakfast restaurant in Hiawatha offers elevated breakfast fare at an approachable price point.
The Breakfast Bar by Saucy Focaccia opened June 9 at the Peck’s Landing development, cementing owner Paul Andreasen’s expansion out of Cedar Rapids and into a new meal.
“We were at a point (where we were asking) can we support a third Saucy Focaccia in town, are we ready to venture out of town, and we thought ‘what else does Cedar Rapids need?’” said owner Paul Andreasen. “And we landed on breakfast.”
Andreasen runs two other burger restaurant locations with his family in Cedar Rapids. The first opened in 2013 as a food truck before moving into NewBo City Market in 2014. In 2016, Saucy Focaccia moved into 5100 Fountains Dr. NE. A second location opened in southwest Cedar Rapids at 2360 Edgewood Rd. SW, a year ago.
What: The Breakfast Bar by Saucy Focaccia
Where: 1950 Blairs Ferry Rd., Suite 116, Hiawatha
Hours: 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the drive-thru; 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the dining room
Details: Drive-thru or dine-in available; Delivery options and carryout for alcoholic beverages may be considered in the future. Drive-thru menu is limited to sandwiches, coffee and Tater Tots
Like the less standard burger offerings in both locations, The Breakfast Bar brings a similarly novel mindset to Hiawatha.
“We like to try to be unique,” Andreasen said. “We saw the need, so that’s what took us in that direction.”
With most options on the menu between $7 and $14, going out for breakfast doesn’t have to break the bank, either.
“We looked at staples like (eggs) Benedicts, pancakes, French toast, waffles, and we thought ‘how can we make them special?’” Andreasen said.
French toast is deep fried instead of battered and grilled. Unlike typical chocolate pancakes made with chocolate chips, The Breakfast Bar offers an actual chocolate base that makes the experience more like eating a brownie.
Chicken and waffles are topped with candied walnuts, creme fraiche and honey drizzle, and eggs Benedict comes in several options like steak, pork belly or sausage with homemade gravy.
“We’re looking for the wow factor when you get your plate — everything at a higher level than what you’d typically be used to,” Andreasen said. “I don’t want to pigeonhole diners, but not like a diner — a step above that.”
But that elevated experience doesn’t come at the cost of convenience. Unlike most restaurants offering breakfast with a drive-thu window, you won’t have to settle for fast food quality. In addition to tater tots and coffee, The Breakfast Bar offers breakfast sandwiches and avocado toast through the window, which opens an hour earlier than the dining room.
Those wanting something requiring a knife and fork to eat will have to settle into the dining room — a lesson learned through experience as Andreasen watched other restaurants with extensive menus struggle with long drive-thru lines.
But the food is worth the wait, he said, with extra care taken for components like blueberry compote and whipped cream made in house. The restaurant also offers a signature cheese sauce on omelets and sandwiches, creme fraiche and syrup kept on a steam table to deliver warm for your pouring.
Another benefit to dining inside is a menu of alcoholic beverage offerings that go beyond the typical mimosa or Bloody Mary.
“We didn’t just want to do a mimosa,” Andreasen said.
Mimosa options include caramel apple, the Tiffany made with blue Curacao, orange creamsicle and peaches. In addition to a traditional Bloody Mary, there is a Bloody Maria made with tequila or a Brewed Mary made with a light lager. Spiked coffee options offer caffeine with a buzz.
Andreasen said it was impractical to add breakfast into Saucy Focaccia.
“To carry … our burger line and everything we need for breakfast, we just couldn’t do it,” within the same location, he said.
The restaurant has been in planning mode since last summer and the lease was signed for the new development in November.
Though serving breakfast has its own challenges, Andreasen said the restaurant was fortunate to be able to hire experienced wait staff to reduce the pressure.
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