About the Bluebird
IOWA CITY—Beneath a royal blue awning, catty-corner from historical John’s Grocery, stands restaurateurs Thomas Connolly and Jon Wilson’s newest contribution to Midwestern flavor: the Bluebird. The décor is brightly modern. The service, cheery with an emphasis on customer comforts. The food, robust with the same expert mix of tradition and sophistication that locals and passers-through love about our fair city. For nearly a century, Iowa City’s fame as the intersection of refinement and tradition in the Midwest has rested on its literary pedigree. Now that intersection has a more precise address: 330 East Market Street.
The Bluebird philosophy is a simple one: People shouldn’t have to travel far to eat the best food available. That means every dish at the Bluebird is cooked to order, like you’d make at home, and sourced as locally and ethically as possible. The bison burgers come courtesy of Jordan Creek Bison Farm, just 12 miles away. The pork comes from Grass-Run Farms, Iowa’s foremost organic and drug-free pork raiser. The fruit and vegetables are grown locally where available and change with the seasons as part of Bluebird’s commitment to responsible eating. The end result is a host of sophisticated yet simple dishes that are fresher and more delicious than any other restaurant in Iowa City.
In addition to their 35 years of work in Iowa City’s business and arts communities, Messrs. Connolly and Wilson are also applying their shared experiences of the food industry to expand the definition of a good meal beyond mere food. Upon entering, diners are urged to sit by one of Bluebird’s four giant picture windows and enjoy the sun. When it’s time to order, Bluebird’s complement of quick and efficient wait-staff waste no time getting orders to the kitchen and bringing back full plates. Customers are invited to relax, enjoy their meals and talk over coffee or espresso while the plates are cleared. As the sun goes down and coats are donned once more, diners might notice a certain outward resemblance to Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks. The resemblance is not an accident, but this corner diner is full of people, conversation and Iowa City’s unique, genial spirit.
And what does the future hold? Since opening in October, 2008, the response of the people has exceeded all expectations. Families, professionals, students and travelers alike are inviting their friends and colleagues to share a meal with them at the Bluebird. Word of Messrs. Connolly and Wilson’s unique mix of value and homemade flavor has already spread beyond Iowa’s borders, and it looks to keep spreading.
Whether you’re looking for a filling breakfast, a quick lunch or a sumptuous dinner, the Bluebird is just around the corner, 330 East Market Street. We’ll see you there!