UNI professor opens restaurant

Associate professor of management Andy Anderson established “David’s Taphouse and Dumplings” which is set to open in late October or early November.

OLIVIA BRUNSTING, Staff Writer

David’s Taphouse and Dumplings to open in Cedar Falls with family-friendly atmosphere

The month of October brings exciting changes and festive events, such as the changing colors of the leaves, sweater weather and Halloween. This year, this list also includes the addition of one of Cedar Falls’s newest restaurants: David’s Taphouse and Dumplings. Located at the corner of West 1st and Washington streets, they plan to open officially in late October or early November. 

 UNI’s very own Andy Anderson, an associate professor of management in the college of business, created this establishment. Anderson grew up as a “countryside kid” in Boone, Iowa, and made his way to Cedar Falls when studying at UNI as an undergraduate in the early 2000s. After attending graduate school in England and living in China with his wife, Yi Cheng, he returned to UNI as a faculty member in 2013. While Anderson is a professor and an entrepreneur, he also keeps himself occupied with his passion for rock climbing, traveling and his family. 

His wife prompted the idea of starting a dumpling business, and their love for this iconic Chinese dish fueled their dream. One of Anderson’s favorite dumpling memories was during Chinese New Year at his wife’s parent’s house. 

“I don’t know what it was,” Anderson said. “The shells were handmade and rolled, and all the fillings were handmade. You know, everything was perfect and everybody was sort of pitching in. I almost ate fifty dumplings that day.” 

Although David’s Taphouse and Dumplings has been in the works for a couple of years, COVID-19 delayed their progress and caused some significant challenges. Anderson explained, “The shortages and supply chain issues from COVID have been pretty challenging. And finding enough workers for the right positions has been challenging as well. I mean, we were planning on being open in July, and we’re probably going to open next week or the week after.”

However, these delays haven’t stopped Anderson and his team from striving to achieve their ultimate societal goal: to create a family-friendly atmosphere that benefits the community. 

Being a father with three young children, Anderson understands the struggles of finding family-friendly options when dining out. David’s Taphouse and Dumplings promotes itself as one of the most family-friendly establishments in Cedar Falls, and they do everything they can to support that notion. Main Street is a popular location for businesses, but parking can be a nightmare. David’s Taphouse and Dumplings has a parking lot to ensure that families can avoid a majority of the downtown traffic with their little ones in tow.

Their establishment also includes many activities for the whole family to enjoy, and all of the games for kids are free. There’s a giant Connect Four with custom David’s Taphouse and Dumplings discs. There are also the options of playing basketball on a full-sized basketball hoop or on a Pop-A-Shot that’s themed around Sue, their unforgettable six feet, 10 inches tall Lego dinosaur. If that’s not enough Legos, there’s also an area dedicated to Lego construction with tables and even a wall where these building blocks can attach to it. 

The restaurant also contains a raised area that people can reserve for private events such as bachelorette parties or birthday parties. 

While this restaurant is proud of its family-friendly options, they also consider their extensive beer selection and their variety of dumplings to be a couple of their most significant selling points. 

Founded in Decorah, Iowa, Toppling Goliath Brewing Co. is recognized worldwide for its quality. David’s Taphouse will exclusively sell Toppling Goliath beer, which was also the inspiration for the establishment’s name that’s based on the biblical story of David and Goliath.

Their menu that includes 14 different dumplings is another reason for the public to be excited. The menu contains items for everyone, including vegetarians and vegans. The options range from traditional – such as their classic Chinese dumpling and Korean fried chicken skewers – to more inventive creations – like their five cheese bomb and their sweet potato dumpling. 

To top it all off, they’re all made from scratch. “So we have a chef. Her name is Chef Tia,” Anderson explained. “She’s from China, made dumplings her whole life like it’s in her blood. And she has a great background and (enjoys) taking a scientific approach to things, and she loves cooking. And then our other manager is a classically French-trained chef. And so putting the traditional Chinese with the classical French-trained chef, these dumplings are good.” 

Anderson shared that one of the biggest rewards he has received from opening this establishment is like teaching in that he has the opportunity to watch people grow. Anderson stated, “Watching our employees grow has been really special. Just like in academics, like being a professor watching your students grow and sort of create something new in the classroom – that’s happening here.” The owner of David’s Taphouse also strives to use this restaurant to practice what he preaches in the classroom. “My students will not have somebody who just does research, which is really important to stay on the cutting edge, but actually is doing things in practice and then able to take that back into the classroom to help facilitate learning,” Anderson said. 

David’s Taphouse will be open from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. on Sundays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. On Fridays and Saturdays, they’ll be open from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Then, on Mondays and Tuesdays, they’ll have their ghost kitchen from 4-8 p.m., where food and drinks will be available for pickup or delivery. 

For more information, go to davidstaphouse.com or follow them on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok or Twitter.