Food & Drink

Local Pour offers international street food in Cedar Rapids

Eclectic food, tiki-inspired cocktails come to Kingston Village

Street tacos with chicken, chorizo, cilantro slaw, black bean salad, cotija cheese and cashew dukkah at Local Pour & Street Food in Cedar Rapids on Monday, March 19, 2018. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Street tacos with chicken, chorizo, cilantro slaw, black bean salad, cotija cheese and cashew dukkah at Local Pour & Street Food in Cedar Rapids on Monday, March 19, 2018. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
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CEDAR RAPIDS — Justin Zehr enjoys seeing other people have fun. It’s why he likes working in the restaurant business, and it’s the driving philosophy behind Local Pour & Street Food, the new bar and restaurant he and business partner Tim Kindl opened March 5 in Kingston Village.

“This industry is an avenue where you can put your passion to work and get immediate gratification,” Zehr said. “Making a dish and seeing people enjoy it is very satisfying.”

Kindl, who also owns Brick’s Bar & Grill, said the goal of Local Pour is simple:

“I want it to be fun,” he said.

That means an eclectic bar filled with colorful art, recycled barn wood tables and hubcap light fixtures. In booths at the back of the restaurant, they plan to install Nintendo 64s for guests to play on. The menu features “street food” from around the world, from their take on poutine to gyros to corn dogs to lettuce wraps.

“It gives us options, so we’re not stuck in any one direction. Street food can go in any direction,” Zehr said.

He said they have a small kitchen, so they wanted to keep the menu focused, with a few dishes with distinct flavor profiles. Kindl said they wanted to focus on good food that wasn’t found on a lot of other pub menus around Cedar Rapids.

To that end, they don’t have a burger on their regular menu, though they will offer a different specialty burger each Wednesday. Kindl said burgers can end up being almost half the sales for many restaurants, and they wanted to branch out from that.

“In this industry, you have to set yourself apart,” he said.

Zehr agreed.

“That’s why we don’t do fries, we do Tater Tots,” he said.

Other specials they have planned are Taco Tuesdays and possibly oysters once a week. Diners can also ask about the “secret menu” to hear what else the kitchen is cooking up.

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They offer free doughnuts to police officers, which Kindl said is their way of embracing the building’s past. The bar has previously been Home Run Sports Bar and was City Beat before that, which was a popular bar for law enforcement, Kindl said.

Jet Evangelista designed the drink menu, with a full slate of signature cocktails in addition to beer and wine, as well as nitro coffee and kombucha on tap.

The cocktails have a tiki-vibe, Zehr said, and they have several meant to be shared between multiple people, like the “Whoo Girl,” which is served in a frozen pineapple.

They said they see Kingston Village as Cedar Rapids’ next up-and-coming neighborhood, with the McGrath Amphitheatre nearby, several newly constructed condos and other new businesses nearby, including Dash Coffee Roasters and Thew Brewing.

“We really liked what this area was doing. We wanted to be part of the change in Cedar Rapids,” Zehr said.

In addition to a front deck, they plan to add a back patio and bike racks this spring.

Zehr and Kindl have known each other and worked together in the restaurant industry for years. They knew what they wanted to bring to the business they had contemplated opening for a long time before they found the right space.

“We wanted to do something we enjoyed. We wanted to create a culture of everyone enjoying themselves,” Zehr said. “We have a slogan: it’s more important to be fun than fancy.”

 

If you go

 

• What: Local Pour & Street Food

• Where: 302 Third Ave. SW, Cedar Rapids

• Hours: 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Kitchen closes at 10 p.m. daily.

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• Details: (319) 364-4042, facebook.com/localpour

l Comments: (319) 398-8339; alison.gowans@thegazette.com

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We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

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