A new restaurant and bar has opened in the former Gringo's Mexican Restaurant space in downtown Cedar Rapids.
Syndicate Epicurean Pub, 207 First Ave. SE, had a soft opening on Wednesday and will begin its normal hours Monday, said owner Kory Nanke.
Nanke said the restaurant will serve "elevated pub food," which he describes as upscale bar food. Menu items include gourmet grilled cheese, bacon fondue, pizza and seared scallops.
There will be a revolving dinner menu, he said, including lobster macaroni and cheese and salmon. Craft beers with high alcohol contents will be served on tap, he said.
Nanke said he chose the former Gringo's space, which closed on June 13, because of it's interesting architecture features as well as its proximity to the U.S. Cellular Center and Theatre Cedar Rapids. He hopes to draw in crowds before or after shows.
The restaurant, which has a separate bar and dining area, can seat up to 120 people. He also plans to remodel the basement, putting in an additional bar that will most likely be used for private events and parties.
Nanke said he spent more than anticipated on the restaurant because he made substantial changes. He put in new wood floods, tables and booths.
Nanke has owned or operated several other Cedar Rapids restaurants, including downtown's Red's Public House, C.R. Chophouse. which was in the Roosevelt building, Cabo Sports Bar and Grill, 2730 Edgewood Road. SW, and Brick's Bar & Grill, 320 Second Ave. SE.
Clint Goodman will be the head chef. Goodman, who won Iowa Restaurant Association's Chef of the Year in 2006, worked with Nanke at the Cedar Rapids Chophouse.Restaurant hours will be from 10 a.m. to midnight Mondays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and closed Sundays.