Operators of a well-known local food truck have opened their brick-and-mortar location in Dubuque’s historic North End.
Versus 2.0 Authentic Asian Kitchen/Bar held its soft opening over the weekend at 2364 Washington St., the former home of Buddy’s Clubhouse. The new restaurant offers a variety of authentic pan-Asian cuisine.
“We really wanted to break the mold with our menu and offer a little bit from everywhere,” said co-owner Lucas Miller. “With (our menu), people can really explore the other side of the world without ever leaving Dubuque.”
Miller and his wife, Liberty, also own and operate Versus food truck. The truck serves a mix of Southeast Asian dishes, such as Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches and Thai drunken noodles.
The couple first opened the operation as a food stand at the Dubuque Farmers Market in 2019 before acquiring the food truck in 2021.
Some of the food truck recipes appear on the Versus 2.0 menu, Miller said, but the couple also added a variety of new dishes such as a Thai pork toast appetizer and maja blanca, a popular Filipino dessert made with coconut milk and corn.
“The maja blanca is actually Liberty’s mom’s recipe,” Miller added. “It’s almost like a piece of cake, but it’s also sort of like a pudding. Everyone who’s tried it so far has said it’s great.”
Dubuque Main Street Executive Director Danielle Jacobs said it’s always a “home run” to see a market vendor such as Versus open a physical location, adding that the Millers are one of several market vendors to do so this year.
“It’s extremely exciting because we get to feel like we helped along the way,” Jacobs said. “And what I love about Versus is that they’ve taken what they know and what they love and combined that into a really unique offering for the community.”
Miller said he and Liberty decided to purchase the physical location to offer a more permanent space for customers to come and eat outside of the elements. The food truck will continue to operate, he said, but mainly in the warmer months.
The former Buddy’s Clubhouse location also offers a degree of neighborly familiarity for the couple, who live just a few minutes away from the restaurant.
“It’s not that we chose that building. It’s more like that building chose us,” Miller said. “The timing was right. The location was right, and it all just kind of came together.”
Versus 2.0 will be open Wednesday through Saturday with the bar operating 2 p.m. to midnight and the kitchen open 5 to 9 p.m. The restaurant can be reached by phone at 563-663-6113 or by email at VersusDBQ@gmail.com.