With a goal of having a neighborhood pub where good food meets good conversation, Karri and Marc Bausch opened Addy’s Pub four years ago. The restaurant/bar on Main Street in Lisbon has been running with the two hospitality industry vets at the helm, adapting to changing times and changing tastes.
One constant is good ingredients, cooked fresh.
Marc and Karri Bausch have roots in Iowa and Texas. Marc is originally from Cedar Rapids, but spent much of his adult life in the Dallas and Fort Worth area. The two met at Judge Bean’s, a Dallas area restaurant where they both worked.
“He threw a hamburger at me because I said he didn’t make it right,” Karri said. “And it went on from there.”
Karri grew up in Carrollton, Texas, near Dallas. One of her first jobs was at an all-you-can-eat barbecue place.
“I didn’t wait tables much because I couldn’t carry the trays, everything was so heavy,” she said. “I ended up being a cocktail waitress (at age 18).”
Starting by waitressing and bartending then management at Judge Bean’s, Karri moved into upper management at a chain of Mexican restaurants, which was eventually sold several times to Ruby Tuesdays and Uncle Julio’s. She worked in hospitality for 19 years before going to management at Bank of America.
Marc’s first job was frying chicken at KFC. Soon after moving to Texas, where he was going to school, he got a job at the original Chili’s restaurant, which then had just one shop.
“They called themselves a hippy hamburger joint,” Marc said. “Everyone ran around in blue jeans and denim shirts. They sold hamburgers and tacos.
“And there was chili,” Karri added.
Good marketing and a good concept helped Chili’s go national, Marc said. It’s changed a lot, but coincidentally, the Chili’s in Cedar Rapids is as close to the original as any the Bausch’s have been to.
The two met at Judge Beans, a West Texas themed restaurant with hamburgers, chicken fried steak and live music on the weekend. Most of the acts were local and stayed local, though two of the Dixie Chicks played when Marc and Karri were there. Four teenagers — a pair of sisters from one family and brother and sister from another formed a bluegrass band.
“We booked them at least a couple times a month,” Marc said. “They were a novelty, just kids, and people would come to see them.”
Marc also moved away from the restaurant business for a number of years, working in imports/exports for an appliance distribution company
That company sold and closed its Dallas area office. The Bauschs’ kids were grown, and after quite a bit of research, Marc and Karrie moved to Iowa and opened Addy’s. They are “semi-retired’’ even though they work four days a week, 12 hours a day.
“We always wanted, well I always wanted a little place of my own,” Marc said.
“I came along for the ride,” Karri said with a chuckle.
Burgers are a specialty at Addy’s. The key is high quality, lean, well-seasoned ground meat.
Marc keeps the grill hot to get a good sear.
“You want it seared on the outside and juicy on the inside,” he said. “A good burger is really medium rare, but it’s hard to find around here. Even when we ask.”
Not counting Addy’s burgers, Karri’s favorite is from the Southwest fast food chain Whattaburger, and she makes sure to get her fix when she visits Texas.
They also sell a fair amount of tenderloins
“Tenderloin wasn’t even a thought when we opened,” Marc said. “Then I was told, ‘you need to have a good tenderloin.’ and found his version through a bit of trial and error.
“You kind of see what other people do,” he said. “Other chefs and cooks won’t tell you everything you do, but they will give you bits and pieces. I kind of combined some things.”
He doesn’t freeze them — one reason his are a light golden brown.
Given her work experience, Karri’s speciality could be considered margaritas. Tequila, triple sec and her own sweet and sour. She doesn’t make them frozen and drinks them herself with salt.
“After 19 years working at a Mexican restaurant, I better know how to make a margarita,” she said.
The other menu item they wanted to bring from Texas is barbecue. Marc will occasionally do brisket, a frequent request. And the hope is to build a smoker behind the restaurant.
The two talked about the restaurant business, Addy’s specialties and the cooking they do (and don’t do) away from the pub.
How do you recognize a well-run restaurant
“Cleanliness,” Marc said. “And service.
“We still critique service. It drives me nuts. Empty glasses, dirty plates. No bussing or secondary bussing. That’s a lack of training in my book.
“Right now it’s hard to say because people are so short staffed they could be overwhelmed, but that’s what I look for.”
And what do you forgive, because of how hard it is?
“Kitchen mistakes. If something is missing on an order. Or something doesn’t arrive with the rest. That’s not the waiters’ fault.
One thing you don’t see very much around here are table visits.
What do you cook away from Addy’s
“Nothing. I’ve cooked my whole life,” Marc said. “All the males in my family cook thanks to my grandmother. Somehow we all ended up in her kitchen.”
Among Christina Bausch’s specialties were homemade noodles. She was also an expert baker.
“I don’t think she bought a loaf of bread in her life,” Marc said. “She made bread every couple weeks until the day she died.
“Dad considers himself a gourmet chef,” Marc said. “He was a private chef for a very little while when he was 75 to 78. He’s 83 and still throws dinner parties.”
What’s the best part of the job?
“The people,” Marc and Karri said almost in unison.
“Meeting the people and talking to everyone,” Karri said. She keeps a calendar to note names, making sure she doesn’t forget. She’ll write what people ate or drove or another fact next to the name, which helps her remember.
They also appreciate the community.
“The community, I’ve been surprised by how well they embraced us, not just us as people but the business,” Marc said. “I like to kid we have more friends now than we made in 30 years in Plano. There everyone is up at five, making that commute and get home after dark.
“You just don’t meet people like you do here.”