Tuggers is ready to celebrate it’s first ever Tug Fest, the event that inspired the nautical themed restaurant and bar on the banks of the Mississippi in Port Byron.
“It was a collaboration amongst all our minds, it was on the river before and we wanted to bring something back to the location,” said Tuggers Chef and General Manager Kevin Steeber. “We figured, why not a good burger and a good beer?”
That’s exactly what Tuggers serves, but it also has an interesting theme. Everything from the decor to the menu items are hyper-local and Tug Fest themed.
“We kind of wanted to have the Tug Fest place to go, you know we have the score inside, we’re very Tug Fest oriented, we’re sponsoring, it just seemed hand in hand,” said Steeber.
The decorations include a running score of Tug Fest victories, which stand 19-11 in Port Byron’s favor. There are local maps and references to locks and dams and river roots. The menu items include things like the Rope Burn Bloody Mary and the Tug Master Mojito, plus the Tuggers Club Sandwich. Plus, there is always something unique on the menu.
“We try to have a little bit of fair food incorporated so we have home made pork rinds, on top of a burger with guacamole, Pico de Gallo, and cheese,” said Steeber, talking about the Crunch & Munch Burger, which is on the limited menu for the Tug Fest Weekend.
The restaurant and bar creates a unique atmosphere as well. The outdoor seating gives a front row seat to the Mississippi, along with a private river beach with a bag set and docks. The docks will be expanding in the future, and include speakers that turn beach-themed music out to the boaters on the water. They just completed a tiki bar, ready for the weekend.
“We know that we’re a destination spot, so we want people to come here and say ‘wow, I want to come back here’,” said Steeber.
As thousands and thousands come into Port Byron to see the annual tug of war across the Mississippi, it’s all hands on deck at Tuggers.
“It’s been a lot of planning, a lot of hard work, a lot of late nights, but we have a good solid team and and we’re going to learn a lot this weekend.”