Iowa Supper Clubs by Megan Bannister
From relish trays and Old Fashioned cocktails to prime rib and fried fish, supper clubs are a quintessential part of midwestern dining culture. In Iowa, hundreds of supper clubs once dotted the state's rural highways and byways, serving as havens for hungry travelers and community gathering places for small towns. Opened in 1912, the Lighthouse Inn Supper Club in Cedar Rapids is one of Iowa's oldest supper clubs. In their heyday, Iowa supper clubs were also home to nefarious activities, with frequent visits from mobsters, bootlegged beverages and illegal gambling. Supper clubs like Archie's Waeside and Breitbach's Country Dining have even won James Beard Awards. Author Megan Bannister relays the delicious details of an Iowa staple.