Step through the doors of Popoli Ristorante & Sullivan’s Bar and feel like you’ve stepped back in time. This casual fine dining restaurant — specializing in steaks, seafood and traditional Italian fare — is set inside the restored People’s Bank building, built in 1910 by famed architect Louis Sullivan.
The building was nearly destroyed in 2008, when floodwaters rose eight feet above the floor. Thankfully, the building was saved and turned into a restaurant for everyone to enjoy.
The architecture alone will take your breath away. Uniquely designed with high ceilings, hand-painted murals, detailed frosted glass walls, turn-of-the-century chandeliers and perhaps the most unique feature — the vault, kept intact as a private dining space, will awe anyone who visits.
While it certainly is a site to see, the food, of course, is also a draw.
Whether you’re looking for a casual bite, an elegant dinner, a private event or even a sweet treat, Popoli is the perfect place for a bite to eat.
“We pride ourselves on our quality both in product and in service,” said Jude Villafana, managing partner at Popoli. “We’re not very stuffy. We like to say our service is casual fine dining. You can come in for a casual meal, or bring in your clients or that special someone for a special date or anniversary.”
The menu is wide-ranging and includes items like flatbreads, salads, bruschetta, pastas, succulent seafood and impressive, high-end steaks.
“We use the good stuff — certified angus beef and USDA prime for our bone in ribeye,” Villafana said. “You can definitely tell the difference.”
Enjoy a drink menu filled with fantastic cocktails and an extensive, worldly wine list. And don’t forget a sweet treat to round out the meal, such as the traditional tiramisu or the salted caramel crème brule. Everything is scratch-made in house.
If you’re looking to host a private party, look no further than one of Popoli’s three private to semi-private dining spaces, or take your party to an outside location with Popoli’s catering.
“We offer full service catering for breakfast, lunch and dinner, from simple delivery up to plated dinners, buffets, cocktail parties, the whole nine yards,” Villafana said. “We can do pretty much anything.”
Popoli Ristorante & Sullivan’s Bar
101 3rd Avenue, Cedar Rapids, IA