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Dinner in the hayloft

Teddy's Bar and Grill

Teddy’s Barn and Grill, now in its third year of business, serves up Midwestern-style dishes in a restored dairy barn that’s one of the most unique restaurant destinations in eastern Iowa.

Visitors can climb the steps into the barn’s hay loft, now the main dining room. They can order an Iowa pork tenderloin or a ribeye steak and admire the barn’s original wood rafters and arched roof, which give the space a quiet, country church-like atmosphere.

“We really wanted it to feel like you are dining in a barn,” says Deb Behrends, who owns and operates the restaurant with her husband, Scott. ”That is the premise of this whole place, but we try to build our reputation on our food.”

The Behrends bought the farm near Anamosa five years ago after Scott had rented and farmed the land since his college days. Deb says her husband is an excellent cook and always talked about starting his own restaurant.

However, when the Behrends bought the farm, they didn’t plan on opening a restaurant there. Deb says they didn’t realize the farm’s potential until her brother came to check out the old dairy barn on site.

“We climbed up the ladder (to the hay loft), and the three of us stood here and thought, ‘This would make a pretty cool restaurant.’ And that’s how it all started,” she said.

The Behrends named their restaurant “Teddy’s” after the farm’s original owner.

The Behrends turned the hay loft into the main dining area, with a cozy bar in the corner. From the hay loft, visitors can climb the steps to a third level that opens up to more booth seating inside and an outdoor patio on the roof of the barn.

The patio is enclosed by glass panels so guest can get a full, unobstructed view of the gorgeous rolling hills of Jones County, the inspiration for famed Iowa artist Grant Wood.

The restaurant also offers group seating on the ground floor for guests who have trouble climbing the stairs or for private parties.

The ground floor once housed the milking parlor. The Behrends kept many original features, like the license-plate numbers on the rafters that were used to identify each cow stall back in the day.

“And we’ve had a lot of people come in and say..., ‘I’ve spent a lot of times in barns like this,’ which I always think is really cool,” she adds.

Deb describes the menu at Teddy’s as “typical Midwestern that’s kicked up a notch,” with the family’s own spin on a favorite dish.

Favorites include the Iowa pork tenderloins (or Ted-derloins, as they’re named on the menu), ribeye and flat iron steaks, pasta, seafood, salads and the “Barnbuster burger” topped with bacon, aged white cheddar, barbecue sauce and homemade onion straws. “Everything we cook is made fresh here,” Deb says.

Teddy’s Barn & Grill is located at 14575 County Rd., Suite E23 in Anamosa. All visitors are welcome. However, if you are traveling from a distance, Behrends cautions that there are stairs leading up to the dining area and patio in the hay loft. Guests who aren’t able to climb the stairs are invited to dine in the milking parlor on the ground floor. For more information, contact Teddy’s Barn & Grill at 319-462-3040.

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