Breitbach’s Country Dining is Iowa’s Oldest Bar and Restaurant, and it has a fascinating and fiery past. While it was originally opened in 1852, Jacob Breitbach purchased the tavern in 1862. Jacob Breitbach was the great-great grandfather of its current owner, Mike Breitbach. Breitbach’s is known for its delicious homemade pies, classic Midwestern fare and German ethnic foods like sauerkraut and sausage.
The establishment was a beloved favorite by many locals, as well as people who traveled from other states to dine there. On Christmas Eve, in December, 2007, there was an explosion in the basement, and the building burned down, despite efforts to save it. The community rallied around the Breitbach family and within months, a new building was completed and the restaurant was open for business again.
This is the original building, before the first fire in 2007.
Tragically, just 10 months after completion of the new restaurant, another fire destroyed the business. The family was crushed, but they decided to rebuild. On August 1st, 2009, the newest Breitbach restaurant was opened for business, much to the delight of everyone who had come to know and love the restaurant.
Breitbach’s new building.
If you visit the restaurant today, Mike Breitbach will greet you, ask you to sign a guest book and tell you all about the restaurant’s fascinating history.
The restaurant has had a rich and interesting history of visitors, as well. Many famous people, from Jesse James to George Wendt (who played Norm on Cheers), to Brooke Shields and Governor Terry Branstad have dined in the historic restaurant.
The interior offers a cozy country atmosphere, decorated with antique furniture, handmade quilts and handmade crafts.
Breitbach’s has a lovely beer garden where you can enjoy a large selection of beer and wine.
Breitbach’s is located at 563 Balltown Road in Balltown, Iowa.
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