Czech it out!
Clutier bar and grill returns under new ownership
Retail business has returned to the city of Clutier with the recent re-opening of Czech Point, a bar and grill restaurant located on Main Street.
New owners Michael and Lisa Wojcik of rural Dysart took over the business in September after the business sat vacant for the past two years. Doors opened for the first time on Thanksgiving Day to offer customers a convenient, home cooked meal during the holiday.
They reported more than 50 customers came through the door on opening day for a takeout, home-style meal.
The Wojciks moved to Tama County from Marion in 2017 seeking open spaces and an opportunity to realize a dream.
Prior to relocating, the couple spent a decade selling homemade and handmade baked goods at the Cedar Rapids Downtown Farmer’s Market. Popular items included their chocolate covered bacon, salted caramel chocolate chip cookies and even kolaches.
That business, called Lisa’s Baked Goods, inspired the Wojciks to take their love of homemade cooking and entrepreneurship to the next level with a brick and mortar shop.
Czech Point was first opened in 2011 by Paul Dvorak, a Clutier native. An ambitious restoration project of the two buildings that Czech Point now occupy brought back a number of historical elements to the space including the large storefront windows and the original wooden cooler that sits behind the bar.
The Wojciks, who themselves have some Czech heritage, have decided to keep the Czech Point name and much of the previous decor which features several historical photos and a pair of painted murals that color the south wall of the dining room.
The restaurant and bar will offer supper hours on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. with the bar remaining open until 10 p.m.
“This is not the kind of situation where you could do three meals a day, seven days a week,” Michael Wojcik said. “It’s not that big of a population. In talking to people, what we’ve heard they want is something in the evenings. So we’re starting with that.”
On the menu will be regular bar and grill staples like burgers, fries and tenderloins along with rotating specials entrees like lasagna, beef and noodles or pot pies that will begin being offered once the Wojciks get settled in and on their feet.
“We’re always interested in what our customers would like to see,” Wojcik said. “In some cases with our menu, we’re making our best guess as to what people might want. If somebody wants a certain food or drink item, we can certainly look into getting it for them.”
Wojcik said they are doing what they can to shop local for their ingredients and products.
Along with their burgers and tenderloins will be a sausage sandwich using kielbasa from Kramer Sausage Company in La Porte City. Also, on the drink menu will be wine from Fox Ridge Winery in Traer.
Customers can enjoy Pepsi fountain beverages, beer, wine and bottled specialty beverages like energy drinks and glass bottle, real sugar sodas.
Wojcik was eager to promote the handmade quality of menu options at the new Czech Point restaurant, pointing out that their kitchen doesn’t even contain a microwave.
Czech Point will offer takeout as well as dine-in services and COVID-19 safety protocols will be followed including socially distanced seating, masks and regular sanitization.
The restaurant and bar has in the past, and again will be, the only retail business open in Clutier, a town of just over 200 people.
“We want to contribute to the community,” Wojcik said. “We live here too, just a few minutes outside of town. We’re generating sales tax that partially goes back into the city. Ideally Czech Point could attract other businesses to Clutier, which would be great to see.”
Similarly sized communities in Tama County each have their own food and drink establishment.
There’s the Silver Dollar in Chelsea, Big R’s in Elberon, the Garwin Bull and Larry’s Tap in Lincoln.
Now it’s Czech Point in Clutier that will be the place where locals and visitors alike can find a warm meal on a cold day, a cold drink on a hot day and a place to see and be seen in their own back yard.
Czech Point will be open during Clutier’s special holiday celebration on Dec. 12 beginning at 11 a.m. Lunch and dinner specials will be available for folks coming to downtown to see Santa Claus at 1:30 p.m. and some live entertainment will be on hand to provide music for customers
You can find Czech Point at 319 Main St. in Clutier, by phone at (319) 479-2345 or on the web at www.czechpointclutier.com.
Regular hours will be Thursday to Saturday, with food served 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and the bar open until 10 p.m.