Jodi Schuning’s dream has come true in the form of Council Bluffs’ newest restaurant, The Porch, located at 2327 S. 24th St.
The Porch is a tribute to Schuning’s grandparents. She said they owned a home in Neola with a large, wrap-around porch. Schuning designed her restaurant in likeness of that porch — bright windows, light fixtures made of glass insulators — as a “cozy” place where she would want to spend time.
“My grandpa worked for the city of Neola for a long time, they used to collect the glass insulators as decorations on their porch,” Schuning said, pointing to the restaurant’s light fixtures.
Schuning has more than 20 years in the restaurant industry. She is a former manager of Glory Days in the 100 block of West Broadway.
When she found out her dream restaurant wasn’t going to be just a dream anymore, she called Nellie Disalvo, one of her best friends and owners of The Dock Bar & Grill, and told her the news. Both women opened their restaurants around the same time.
Outside of the Porch, Schuning’s mother plans to plant a garden underneath the sign for a “homier feel from the outside,” Schuning said.
On the tables, Schuning cut up old books to make table tents and display drink specials next to the mismatched salt and pepper shakers.
Menus will have a photo of the Neola home with the words inscribed: “Sink into a chair in comfortable surroundings with a vintage flair and enjoy our version of comfort food.”
Since opening, Schuning said a lot of her menu is homemade — burgers, noodles over mashed potatoes and home-style goulash.
The No. 1 seller on the menu is the mac and cheese with steak bites from Rustic Cuts, Schuning said.
Serving mostly comfort food and burgers, The Porch plans to host bands and volleyball tournaments on the patio during the summer.
“It’s almost like being at a cookout, a family reunion,” she said.