By Deborah Neyens, The Gazette | April 29, 2014 |
The owners of Louie’s Scoreboard would like their new restaurant to be a gathering spot for the residents of Marion.
‘We want this to be a locally-owned place where the locals hang out,’ said co-owner Katie Luehrsmann.
‘We’ve heard it many times since we’ve been open – Marion needed something like this,’ added Katie’s husband and business partner, Ryan.
The Luehrsmanns and their friends, Eric and Kelly Hartgrave, decided to go into business together after admiring the vibrant bar and restaurant community in Iowa City and wanting to provide a similar experience in Marion.
Louie’s Scoreboard opened on Feb. 17. The family-friendly restaurant and sports bar serves smoked meats, burgers and cracker-crust pizzas for lunch and dinner. There are 16 beers on tap and over 30 televisions for viewing games.
The restaurant’s name is in part a nod to Ryan’s college days as a guard for the Iowa Hawkeyes, when his nickname was ‘Louie.’ It also recalls a bit of Marion history.
As early as 1933, a business called Ping’s Scoreboard operated out of 740 10th St. that Louie’s calls home. For decades, Stickney’s Scoreboard occupied the building before closing in the early 1990s.
The Luehrsmanns and Hartgraves renovated the space, which had been vacant since 2012. The decor features signed and personalized sports memorabilia commemorating Iowa athletics, the strong basketball tradition at Linn-Mar High School, Katie’s alma mater, as well as the sports teams of other local high schools, colleges and universities.
‘We may be a little biased, but we support all the teams,’ said Ryan, who played high school basketball at Cedar Rapids Washington and coaches boys’ basketball at Cedar Rapids Xavier.
The kitchen is headed up by Shawn Lewis, who previously worked at Wildwood Smokehouse and the Sports Column in Iowa City and has built a reputation around his award-winning barbecue. Ribs, chicken wings and other meats are smoked in a custom-built smoker and all barbecue and wing sauces are made from scratch.
‘We’ve had great support from the community,’ Katie said. ‘Marion supports Marion businesses and that’s why we wanted to be here.’