IowaStater Restaurant replaces Audubon’s at Gateway Hotel


Photo: Shiyao Liu/Iowa State Daily

Gateway Hotel in Ames has renovated its restaurant to make an atmosphere with more of a community feel. The IowaStater opened in September.

Nicole Mcintosh

Gateway Hotel in Ames has revamped its restaurant to make an atmosphere with more of a community feel. The IowaStater Restaurant replaced Audubon’s and is focusing on Midwest comfort food with flair.

The Iowa State Foundation owns Gateway Hotel, which is a nonprofit organization that helps raise money for Iowa State with private gifts and grants. They wanted the restaurant to have an overall feeling of community and tie back into Iowa State, said David Adler, the director of food and beverage for Gateway.

The food has changed as well. The prices are more affordable and lean toward comfort food, rather than fine dining.

“Just because the prices are down doesn’t mean the quality has changed,” said Joe Weisz, executive chef for the IowaStater.

The menu features American classics such as mac ‘n cheese, pizza and sandwiches. Entrees available after 5 p.m. include pork chops and salmon. The menu changes every quarter to keep the food as fresh as possible.

Additionally, the restaurant offers weekly specials, such as 20 percent off for all Iowa State students, faculty and staff.

The expansion made the dinning room much bigger with more light, creating room for more tables and chairs. The restaurant now seats up to 100 guests. Private party rooms in the back of the dining area are available to reserve for a small fee. The bar also expanded to seat 15 guests instead of only three. There are two big-screen televisions to watch the big games on as well.

The restaurant has the opportunity not only to serve local residents and college students, but to give out-of-town guests the chance to have a taste of Iowa State.

“Business has definitely picked up,” said Butch Burns, bartender for the IowaStater. “So many more people from town have been coming in.”

The IowaStater has been in business for 45 days, and it has already seen a great increase in business. The restaurant had its grand opening Thursday, Oct. 7 with great success, serving 185 people.

The restaurant kept the original staff with the addition of extra servers to accommodate more tables and customers; it also added a few cooks because the menu nearly doubled.

“The staff is thrilled with the change,” Adler said. 

To find out more or to make a reservation, call the IowaState Restaurant at 515-268-2238, or visit its website at