Washington County restaurants open for summer business

Local owners around the county recommend different menu options for the season.

CaManders Bar & Grill in Brighton is famous for its cheeseburgers according to the owner. (Gretchen Teske/The Union)
CaManders Bar & Grill in Brighton is famous for its cheeseburgers according to the owner. (Gretchen Teske/The Union)

Local restaurants are offering dine-in and carryout options to fit anyones’ taste buds throughout the summer. No matter what corner of the county one is in, many options for dining local are available.



CaMander’s Bar & Grill, 212 East Washington Street


Mandy Northup has been running her bar since 2012 in her hometown of Brighton. Although there is a wide variety of options on the menu, Northup said by far her biggest sellers are the hamburgers and cheeseburgers.

“That’s my biggest compliment I get when I go somewhere, is that people love our burgers. They love the taste. I’ve had people buy them and take them home to freeze,” she said with a laugh, adding she often hears comments that despite doing so customers can never get them to taste nearly as good as they do when they purchase them from her bar fresh.

For those who aren’t meat eaters or are looking for a healthier option, Northup recommends her fish sandwich, saying it receives almost as much attention as the burgers.

“It’s a great big huge sandwich and everybody loves it,” she said.

The establishment is open Monday-Thursday from 7:30 a.m. until 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 7:30 a.m. until 12 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m.




Kalona Brewing Company, 405 B Ave


At the Kalona Brewing Company, the brewery dictates the “vibe” of the place. With an open kitchen, glass wall to the brewery and a full bar as the centerpiece, General Manager Jeremy Hassman described the place as a casual full-service restaurant.

Known for its beer, there are a few year-round staple beers but many people look forward to some of the seasonal beers, such as the Good Day Sunshine.

“I had tons of people coming in saying ‘when’s it going to be on?’” Hassman said.

On the restaurant side, Hassman said they are always working to build relationships with local farms. Recently they started working with JimRayFarms for their grass fed beef.

Just like the beer, the menu changes every few months so customers can get a few year-round staples or mix it up with some seasonal meals.

The establishment is open Wednesday and Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.




Murphy’s Bar and Grill, 71 E 1st Street


For almost 25 years, Jerry Murphy has owned what he describes as the typical small-town restaurant in the future birthplace of Captain Kirk.

With an old building and wood booths the place has a comfortable atmosphere.

From sandwiches and tenderloin to lasagna and steak, Murphy said there are a lot of meals the bar is known for. Murphy’s has a year-round menu so customers always know what is available.

The establishment is open Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.




Unc & Neph’s, 1015 West Madison Street


Describing his place as an “upper-class sports bar,” owner Dave Sorrell said there are a variety of options for those looking for a good meal. However, the meal his bar is most known for, he said, are the cheeseburgers.

The half-pound burger is made with Grade-A meat, he said and is easily the most popular item. For those looking for something else, Sorrell cannot recommend just one item. The catfish, salmon, rib-eye and tenderloin all top his list as great things to order.

“We have a big menu,” he said.

With a large outdoor seating area and comfortable places to sit inside while still following social-distancing standards, Sorrel said the place is a comfortable place to have a meal and is what keeps people coming back.

“People like the atmosphere and the friendliness of it. There’s down to earth people who work here and run the place,” he said.

The establishment is open Sunday through Saturday from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. The kitchen is open form 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. daily.