hip stir bar

Restaurant of the Week: The Hip-Stir

The Hip-Stir is located in the middle of the uptown district in Marion. Opened in September of 2021, The Hip-Stir brings an eclectic menu and atmosphere to a booming part of Marion.

This new restaurant, from Tim Oathout, Justin Zehr and Tim Kindl, has easily become a fan favorite in Eastern Iowa. Many people are searching for more than a great place to eat; they want an experience while dining out, and The Hip-Stir provides just that. Whether you grab a bite for lunch, have a romantic date night or meet friends for happy hour, The Hip-Stir is the place to go for any occasion. The patio is a favorite during the warmer months, and the fun nooks in the front of the space allow for a more intimate experience.

The lighting is dim, and the space features dark wood, which gives the restaurant a speakeasy vibe. The most unique features inside of The Hip-Stir are the enclosed booth spaces. This makes for a private space and is very photo-worthy. The lounge areas at the front have windows to overlook the Marion Square Park and include lounge furniture and a large table to accommodate a larger group. Make sure you look at the ceiling when you enter; there are old doors, which were sourced from local antique shops, painted various colors covering the entire ceiling. Also in the space are colorful, stained glass lamps hanging from the ceiling, which were collected from all over the state, mostly found on Facebook and other online marketplaces. There are also stained glass windows, a motorcycle, a canoe and more decking The Hip-Stir–making for many photo opportunities. 

The cocktails at The Hip-Stir are ones to brag about. The bar manager, Caleb, won the “People’s Choice Award” at Newbo City Market’s Cocktail Classic. The Ohm E Ohm I and the Late to the Date are highly recommended. Once you order a cocktail, its time to dig into The Boujie Waffle Fries, an elevated fry experience. The bowl is heaping with waffle fries and topped with prosciutto, mustard sauce and caviar. This dish literally leaves your mouth watering.

To continue with an appetizer, the baked cheese is absolutely delectable. This warm cheese blend is baked with a golden finish. The cheese is thick, yet spreadable, with a tangy taste. It includes pickled mushrooms and lemon herbs that make it well seasoned. It is served with “big bread” which certainly lives up to its name. The bread is sturdy and perfectly crisp. This appetizer is one you may not want to share, but definitely sizable enough for a group. 

The chipotle-miso udon is an international dish that will warm and fill you up. The chipotle flavor is smoky and hits you the moment you take a bite. The subtle hint of pineapple allows a sweet component, balancing the kick of the chipotle. This dish is packed with many delicious ingredients including confit chicken, mushrooms, green onions, pineapple, sprouts, jammy egg and lime, all in a chipotle-miso broth. The udon noodles are thick and hold so much flavor.

Another extremely flavorful dish is the brown butter scallops. The scallops have a nice crisp, golden exterior and are cooked perfectly. There is a slight kick, and the sweet potatoes and mushrooms make for a delightful light dish. The presentation is beautiful with the herb-arugula sauce. 

Happy hour is daily from 3 to 6 p.m., which includes two-for-one drafts, $2 off bottles of wine and more. The Hip-Stir is open Monday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to midnight; Saturday, 10 a.m. to midnight; and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

For more information about The Hip-Stir, visit www.facebook.com/thehipstir.

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