RESTAURANTS

30hop owners open Tribute Eatery & Bar in Coralville's Iowa River Landing

Booths are seen at Tribute in Coralville's Iowa River Landing on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. The new restaurant offers classic
Booths are seen at Tribute in Coralville’s Iowa River Landing on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. The new restaurant offers classic and modern takes on food and cocktails for date night to casual diners. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
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CORALVILLE — The team that opened 30hop in Coralville and Cedar Rapids has a new restaurant, just across the street from the Coralville 30hop in Iowa River Landing.

Tribute Eatery & Bar opened Nov. 5 in the former Louie’s Wine Dive at 901 E. Second Ave. in Coralville. The management team behind it is part of the loosely affiliated group of 17 restaurants known as the Craft Concepts group, which includes restaurants like Big Grove Brewery, Pullman, Mosley’s and Blackstone in Iowa City.

Shane Durian is director of culinary operations and executive chef for Tribute and for the two 30hop locations. He said they wanted the new restaurant to be a complement to 30hop and to serve the Iowa River Landing District, which just saw the Xtreme Arena open.

“We want to serve people coming in on date night and also the family of four with kids,” he said.

Inside the restaurant, they are not seating people at center tables to allow for social distancing. Gov. Kim Reynolds’ public health mandate, announced Tuesday, requires six feet of distancing between parties.

There is a patio that Dan Blum, director of operations, said they hope to give more attention in the spring.

Other members of the leadership team include head chef Cody Sammons, managing partner Darin Blum, assistant general manager Blake Laughton, bar manager Noah Barten and sous chef Collin Bender.

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“It’s going to be very, very classic. It’s going to be a lot of your favorites, a lot of classic, approachable food,” Durian said.

He said they tried to take familiar American dishes and kick them up a notch. The spinach artichoke dip is baked in a cast iron skillet. The burger is served with house pickles and housemade slaw, and the fish and chips is served with yuzu tartar sauce.

“We wanted to be sure there was a favorite for everyone on there,” he said.

Brian Flynn, who also owns Joe’s Place and is part of the Craft Concepts group, said all the restaurants in the group are having air purifiers installed in the HVAC system.

On the opening weekend for Tribute, they did not offer carryout or delivery but will do so soon, with delivery through Chomp and DoorDash, they said.

Behind Tribute’s name is a play on words, Flynn said. It is meant to both be a tribute to classic dining experiences and to the tributary to the Iowa River that runs in the creek outside.

To renovate the space, they knocked out a wall that separated a private room and moved the bar to one wall, with the goal of making it a focus area.

“We kind of thought we could do something with this space and not change much, but we put one foot in and started running right through a wall,” he said.

The bar menu includes both tributes to classic cocktails, in keeping with the theme, and signature house cocktails.

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Durian said he enjoys the restaurant world and focusing on the food because “you always get to have your own interpretation with every dish.”

He also enjoys the camaraderie and pace of a busy night of service.

“In the kitchen, it’s like playing on a sports team when you’re cooking,” he said. “I love the vibes you get on a Friday night.”

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

Tribute Bar & Eatery

Where: 901 E. Second Ave., Suite 100, Coralville

When: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Sunday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday; Closed Mondays for now with plans to open daily in the future.

Details: (319) 569-1550, tributebar.com

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