Clouds cafe owner plans socially distanced special


The owner of Clouds Cafe in Ames, Iowa, is planning exclusive dinner events for guests to have more opportunities to enjoy European foods and drinks.

Lydia Wede

After several weeks of closed restaurants and safety measures, Ames residents are looking for ways to venture out in public. One cafe owner is hoping he can provide an exciting and safe opportunity for people of all ages to celebrate and enjoy a unique experience.

Yann Queckenstedt is the owner of the Clouds Cafe in Ames. Clouds specializes in European-style cuisine and pastries, Honduran coffee and an ambiance that transports the patron to a new destination. To add to this atmosphere of relaxation and elegance, the cafe has a breathtaking view of campus from 100 feet in the air. 

While Clouds is open during their normal operating hours, Queckenstedt has devised special programming outside of those times to give guests an extra opportunity to enjoy European gastronomy. On select Fridays, Clouds will serve wine and hors d’oeuvres and on certain Saturdays, there will be exclusive dinners. All events are reservation only, and tickets can be purchased on Clouds’ website.

In order to comply with state and federal guidelines, Clouds has taken a number of steps to limit the spread of COVID-19, including limiting seating capacity and group sizes. However, Clouds is taking initiative by partaking in further action. Clouds employees will be wearing special see-through masks. These masks allow easier communication with patrons, especially the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities, while still being sanitary.

Clouds is also using UV-C light to sanitize hard to clean surfaces, such as furniture and cloth-based items. 

The wine and hors d’oeuvres event will feature a wine tour of three different wines with hors d’oeuvres meant to highlight the flavors of the beverages.

“During the wine event, the guest will be taken through a wine tour and tasting of our exquisite European picked wines,” Queckenstedt said. “Each wine will be presented to the group and paired with a small, but finely made, hors d’oeuvres.”

Staff will assist the patrons with some wine education regarding the selected drinks and there will be plenty of social opportunities. Due to the nature of the event, there will be a 21 and over age limit. The next scheduled “Wine and Hors d’oeuvres” evening will be 6 p.m. July 10. Tickets will cost $26.22 and will include the cost of the beverages and food.

Each exclusive dinner event focuses on a specific European region or country and will highlight the flavors and dishes for which that region is known. 

“Every Clouds exclusive dinner will be themed and provide you with creative flavors inspired by European culinary art,” Queckenstedt said. “During the dinner, you will be whisked away from Ames, Iowa, and be placed into a different world according to the theme.”

People of all ages are welcome to this event. There are vegetarian and gluten-friendly options available. Ticket costs will vary with each meal and there will be drinks available for purchase.