Couple takes over longtime Dyersville bar

DYERSVILLE, Iowa — A popular Dyersville gathering place is under new ownership, but patrons can expect the same quality service and warm hospitality, with a few additional menu options.

Russ and Jody Steger took over the Palace Saloon in November after longtime owner Darlene Frasher retired after about 30 years at the business.

“Darlene built a great business. It was really turn-key. A lot of her customers are still regulars for us,” said Jody Steger. “… We want to keep the same feel and family tradition of a mom-and-pop-style place.”

It didn’t take long for the Stegers to decide the Palace was the place for them.

“Russ has always had a passion for cooking. He and my father, my brother and my brother-in-law have participated in smoking competitions, so it’s always been his passion to own a restaurant,” Jody explained. “When this opportunity came up, he didn’t have to think about it. It’s something he wanted to do.”

“I’ve always enjoyed coming to the Palace,” Russ said. “I knew this was a place in the community everybody enjoys being, and I wanted to continue going with that.”

The Stegers are staying with tried-and-true menu items, while Russ’s affection for smoked meat is expanding the food offerings.

“I want to continue to serve the community and bring smoked meat to town,” Russ Steger said. “I want to add that to our menu as one of our house specialties.”

Visitors will notice a few subtle changes to the restaurant’s interior, but the classic feel of the establishment remains.

“We put a fresh coat of paint on things, added new light fixtures and new tables,” said Jody. “The bar is well over 100 years old. This place opened in 1883, and it was a bar and saloon at that time. With the exception of a period of time during Prohibition, when it was an ice cream parlor, it’s been a bar all of those years and even had a barbershop in the back of the restaurant at one time.”

The Stegers intend for the Palace to offer entertainment options.

“Dyersville is really a growing town, and there aren’t that many places to sit down and eat,” Jody said. “We do want to bring in more entertainment and bring in artists with a good local following.

“Because it’s small and it’s local, people like to come in here,” she said. “It’s nice to know who you are talking to, and the prices are low. Good food and cool drinks draw people.”