Hip-stir offers an eclectic menu and a fascinating atmosphere in the chic Marion district

Lobster and Shrimp Cheese Ramen (lobster, shrimp, roasted cauliflower, pickled peppers, sprouts, butternut squash chips and cheese broth) at Hip-stir, 1120 Seventh Avenue, in Marion, Iowa, on Thursday, November 11 2021. (Jim Slosiarek / The Gazette)

Steak and chips (fried rib steak, chimichurri miso, scallions and candle waffle fries) at Hip-stir, 1120 Seventh Avenue, Marion, Iowa on Thursday, November 11, 2021 (Jim Slosiarek / The Gazette)

Tiffany-style lamps hang from the ceiling above barrel-shaped booths at The Hip-stir, 1120 Seventh Avenue, in Marion, Iowa on Thursday, November 11, 2021 (Jim Slosiarek / The Gazette)

The bar is bathed in warm light at The Hip-stir, 1120 Seventh Avenue, Marion, Iowa on Thursday, November 11, 2021 (Jim Slosiarek / The Gazette)

MARION – Her food might be hot, but The Hip-stir serves up all the cool vibes at Uptown Marion.

What do a seared bologna sandwich, lobster and shrimp cheese ramen and prosciutto-topped waffle fries have in common? All are served in the new restaurant, offering a taste of what’s cool before it spills over into traditional meals.

The Hip-stir, which opened at 1120 Seventh Ave. for patio and takeaway service in September, opened its captivating dining room on November 3 to provide an atmosphere that matches its eclectic menu without being kitsch.

With a design described as Victorian steampunk, owners Justin Zehr, Tim Kindl, and Tim Oathout succeeded in creating ceiling doors, oversized barrel cabins, airplane wings, and seating areas with tinted windows and an entryway. keyhole fit together cohesively. As the eyes move from the tinted front windows to the matching lighting behind the bar, geometric shapes help guide the eyes to various focal points.

If you are going to

What: Hip-stir

Or: 1120 Seventh Avenue, Marion

Hours: from 11 a.m. to midnight from Monday to Friday; 10 a.m. to midnight Saturday and Sunday.

In line: facebook.com/thehipstir

Telephone: (319) 200-5465

Details: Now open for dinner and take out with a full bar. Patio service offered seasonally; currently closed.

“We find things that we love and build around it,” Zehr said. “We find a consistent layout with the room, and then we come up with other great ideas and fun things to try to find a way to put it all together. It’s something we’ve learned to do over time.

The three restaurateurs, who have known each other for over 20 years, all work together on their first restaurant as they take their first steps in Marion. Zehr and Kindl own other Cedar Rapids restaurants through the Fun Not Fancy restaurant group including LP Street Food, Moco Game Room and Hot Dog Bar, Cliff’s Dive Bar & Grill and the upcoming Taco Gato.

Oathout, former chef, general manager and co-owner of Zeppelin’s Bar & Grill, now runs the kitchen as co-owner of Hip-stir.

When they joined forces to create what diners see now, they didn’t have a specific name, logo or concept in mind to fill the space once occupied by Ramsey’s Wine Bistro, which closed in January. . But they had ambition – something that comes through after nine months of renovations.

“We usually have ideas for things that we try to include, but they don’t always come to fruition,” Kindl said. “We are not forcing it.”

The menu, produced in dozens of revisions, brings a selection that is just as fun as the ambiance.

“The feeling was to cook like I would have liked to cook if I was at home entertaining friends. Or just cook the food we would like to eat, ”Oathout said. “It comes from a lot of energy and passion. I think it shows in the food – it’s warm and filling.

Selections like the Pan-Seared Bologna Sandwich and the Fried Chicken Sandwich provide comfort without being welcoming. Dishes like lobster and shrimp cheese ramen or steamed pork belly buns offer something a little more adventurous.

With a unique cuisine curation that could only be described as hipster, the menu and atmosphere manages to bring an aura of freshness without the pretension associated with hipsters. But getting to this point has not been easy. It was a challenge to create a manageable menu that fits on one page.

“It’s important to deliver high quality food and fresh ingredients and sophisticated flavors without being pretentious,” Oathout said. “There’s no winning if you try to demonstrate… and say ‘look how good I am’. “

What matters is the expression diners give when they try something delicious for the first time, he said.

Items like braised ribs appeared mostly by accident after a delivery arrived with the wrong product and was served to staff for a family meal.

Other items on the early versions have evolved over time to become what they’re now on the menu, like steak and fries. What started out as a prime rib then evolved into a fried rib eye unlike the meat you can get in other restaurants. Frying creates a caramelized texture and a unique flavor.

Capitalizing on the growth and improvements of the upscale Marion neighborhood, The Hip-stir is one of the many restaurants that are creating a new scene along Seventh Avenue. But what’s more is that the owners are trying to make Marion a full-fledged destination for the Cedar Rapidians looking for something new to eat.

Kindl said the Uptown neighborhood has a more community-oriented feel.

“So many people in Marion tell us how they leave town, they go to Cedar Rapids to eat,” Zehr said. “We not only want to keep people in Marion, but also to attract people from Cedar Rapids to come here. If we start drawing Cedar Rapids, it will bring even more energy. It’s exciting to think about it.

Comments: (319) 398-8340; [email protected]

Steamed pork belly buns (cucumber, pea sprouts, creamy kimchi sauce. Tiger bite sauce) at Hip-stir, 1120 Seventh Avenue, in Marion, Iowa, on Thursday, November 11, 2021. (Jim Slosiarek / The Gazette)

Pineapple Right Side Up Donut (pineapple brown sugar syrup, white chocolate mousse, ginger-pistachio crumble) at Hip-stir, 1120 Seventh Avenue, Marion, Iowa, Thursday, November 11, 2021 (Jim Slosiarek / The Gazette)

Warm light seating at The Hip-stir, 1120 Seventh Avenue, Marion, Iowa, Thursday, November 11, 2021 (Jim Slosiarek / The Gazette)

A door leading from a lounge area to the warm light of Hip-stir, 1120 Seventh Avenue, Marion, Iowa, Thursday, November 11, 2021 (Jim Slosiarek / The Gazette)

Tiffany-style lamps hang from the ceiling above barrel-shaped booths at The Hip-stir, 1120 Seventh Avenue, in Marion, Iowa on Thursday, November 11, 2021 (Jim Slosiarek / The Gazette)

A family-style table is separated from the rest of the restaurant at The Hip-stir, 1120 Seventh Avenue, in Marion, Iowa, on Thursday, November 11, 2021 (Jim Slosiarek / The Gazette)

The doors are attached to the ceiling as a motorcycle is a decorative item at Hip-stir, 1120 Seventh Avenue, in Marion, Iowa on Thursday, November 11, 2021 (Jim Slosiarek / The Gazette)

The Hip-stir Bar, 1120 Seventh Avenue, Marion, Iowa, Thursday, November 11, 2021 (Jim Slosiarek / The Gazette)

The Hip-stir, 1120 Seventh Avenue, Marion, Iowa, Thursday November 11, 2021 (Jim Slosiarek / The Gazette)

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