The countdown to opening day is on at Roam. And, save for occasional posts on social media, owner Dylan Steil has tried to keep people curious about, well, every part of the eatery coming to downtown Davenport.
“There’s a mystique,” he said. “We’ve put out some information about it and thrown out words like lounge and moto cafe and brasserie. That’s a lot of weird terms that are new to this community and new in general.
“I think people are thinking, ‘How does that all work together? We have to go in there and see what it’s actually like.’ I’ve known how it was going to work from day one but a lot of people are kind of waiting to see how it’s going to work.”
Until now, the team had been slow to share many details about Roam, including a firm opening date.
The restaurant and motorcycle shop is slated to open Dec. 26 at 210 East River Drive in downtown Davenport.
Roam’s bar manager, or “Chief Libations Officer,” Alex Nagel described the community’s interest in a coffee shop/restaurant/bar/motorcycle shop this way: “It’s been aggressive. I probably get 20 messages a day from people asking about it.”
During a sneak peek Monday of the 4,500-square-foot establishment, next door to Front Street Brewery, Nagel and executive chef Rhea Vrana unveiled a sampling of food and drinks that will be served at Roam.
The menu features 18 craft cocktails, many of which come with a show: To prepare a smoked old fashioned called the “Ned Ryerson,” for example, Nagel put the cocktail in a smoking box, creating a spectacle as the glass device filled with smoke. The customer would then open the door of the box to retrieve their smokey drink.
“We’ve done a lot of research,” Nagel said. “We’ve taken classic stuff and added something fun to them. It’s all about taking drinks to that next level.”
Other cocktails include a peanut butter-infused Irish coffee, a tiki-style drink called Endless Summer and a Thai basil daiquiri.
On tap, Roam will have a cocktail from the LeClaire-based Mississippi River Distilling Company, plus eight craft beers and two wines.
On the food side of things, the intended-for-sharing menu is broken into categories such as “Toast,” meaning smaller bites, “Fingers,” for finger food, “Fork,” for bigger plates and “Indulge,” which features meals intended to feed at least three people.
“It’s supposed to be an adventure,” Steil said. “We want this to be an experience every time you come here.”
Starting in January, Roam will also serve what Steil describes as “Chicago-style millennial hipster brunch” on Saturdays.
There is still plenty of decorating and last-minute work to do at Roam, which will also serve European-style coffee, but Steil said everything will be in place by next week, when “all of people’s questions will be answered,” he said.
“We’re ready for people to get in here,” he said. “We’re ready to show it off.”
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