Cascade pizza restaurant, taproom poised to open doors this week

Happy Joe’s Pizza and Ice Cream will open Monday in Cascade, Iowa. PHOTO CREDIT: Dave Kettering

CASCADE, Iowa — A pair of new businesses are poised to open under the same roof in Cascade this week, filling vacant spaces and infusing a sense of excitement after a difficult economic year.

Happy Joe’s will open at 207 First Ave. W in Cascade on Monday, March 1, according to owner John Lehmann. The business is occupying the former home of the restaurant Grandma’s Kitchen.

“We know a lot of people are looking forward to our opening, and we’re excited to bring a Happy Joe’s to Cascade,” said Lehmann, who also owns a Happy Joe’s in Dyersville. “Even with the pandemic going on, people are still out there showing their support the best they can.”

The new restaurant will be open to dine-in customers and will offer carryout but not delivery.

Similar to other Happy Joe’s locations, the Cascade eatery will serve a diverse array of pizzas, sandwiches, salads, baked pasta and ice cream options.

Lehmann said staff members have been preparing vigorously so the restaurant can hit the ground running. Employees recently went through training, and the eatery planned a pair of “soft opening” events over the weekend to give workers some experience before the official opening date arrives.

“We’ve hired 15 so far, and we are looking to hire some more,” Lehmann said.

The opening of Happy Joe’s coincides with another notable — and adjacent — development.

A brick archway will connect the eatery to The Corner Taproom, another new business that will breathe life into a previously vacant location.

Manager Zach Nothdorf said last week that the taproom aims to open Monday, but it could be delayed until later in the week.

On Sunday, the business announced online that it would open Monday.

Located at 201 First Ave. W., the new offering will fill the former home of Corner Tap.

Similar to Happy Joe’s, the owners of Corner Taproom already established a foothold in the region.

Tom and Carol Olberding opened Textile Brewing Co. in Dyersville in 2019. That brewery will have a major presence at the new Cascade watering hole, forming an integral part of a drink selection with a local focus.

“We will have seven or eight beers on tap from Textile,” said Nothdorf. “We’ll also feature two or three ciders from (Cascade business) Crimson Sunset, and we will have about 10 other guest taps for other beers, all from Iowa.”

In addition, Corner Taproom will offer mixed drinks and a selection of higher-end premium bourbons and scotches.

Nothdorf said seven people have been hired to staff Corner Taproom. Those workers likely will have plenty of patrons to keep them busy.

“It seems like every day someone is asking us when we’re opening,” he said.

Nothdorf noted that Happy Joe’s customers will be welcome to bring food from the restaurant into the taproom, where they can enjoy it with a beverage.

He believes the partnership with Happy Joe’s will enhance the customer experience and add to the buzz about each of the new businesses.

“I think we can work really well together,” Nothdorf said. “Pizza and beer go together great.”