CEDAR RAPIDS — Another piece of flood recovery is falling into place in the New Bohemia district with the opening of Bata’s Restaurant.
More than four years after floodwaters ravaged the southeast Cedar Rapids neighborhood, a new restaurant is opening that promises to be a draw for the resurgent arts and entertainment area.
Bata’s, 1006 Third St. SE, held a soft opening Friday and will be open today from 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., said co-owner Tony Bata.
Some have described the menu — flatbread pizzas, fajitas, burgers and vegetarian dishes, among other items — as “fusion.”
“It’s really a mix of comfort foods from the United States and from around the world,” said Bata, a longtime caterer who is a physicist by education and chief information officer in Coe College’s information technology department. “It will change every week.”
Co-owner Nick Bata, Tony’s son, has worked as a personal trainer and operated Kaffein, a coffee shop in the neighboring Cherry Building, 329 10th Ave. SE.
Both buildings are owned by the Chadima family’s Thorland Co. Bata’s Restaurant is located in the Suchy Building, named for the Suchy family, who operated a jewelry store in the 1907 building while living upstairs.
- Bata’s Restaurant is located at 1006 Third St. SE
- Phone: (319)423-9740
- Website: www.batasrestaurant.com
- Hours: 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, with scheduled dinners on selected Mondays.
Once the family had enough money, they erected the more substantial brick building that now houses Bata’s Restaurant, said Cedar Rapids historian Mark Stoffer Hunter.
Investments from the Batas and Chadimas for restoration, more than $500,000, was offset by two grants totaling $100,000 and historic tax credits, Lijun Chadima said.
The original tin ceiling was restored and oak floors, salvaged from houses demolished for an office building on First Avenue SE, replaced the flood-damaged flooring.
Exposed brick in a section of the bar also retains the character of the building, which has seating for 62. The bar will carry more than 50 wines and a variety of Iowa beers.
“We want to do as much ‘local’ as we possibly can,” Nick Bata said.
The 2,500-pound wood stone oven — which proved a challenge to install — will be used for pizzas, bread and other items.
Three chefs, all educated through Kirkwood Community College’s culinary arts program, complement the cooking done by Tony Bata.
“I’m more of an indigenous cook,” he said, referring to his roots growing up in a mixed neighborhood of Polish, Mexican, Lebanese and other cultures. “I think it’s going to be a good marriage.”
- By Cindy Hadish