SIOUX CITY | Tanner's Bar & Grill President Brett Clure wants customers to come to the 1790 Hamilton Blvd. sports bar for the chicken lips and stay for the camaraderie.
OK, we'll bite. Apparently, chicken lips -- actually boneless chicken strips -- are the top-seller at the Kansas-based chain.
"People really seem to love 'em because of the variety of batters we use," Clure said of the chicken lips that come in eight different sauces. "Personally. I like my chicken lips to be battered, buffaloed and charred."
Sioux City's Tanner Bar & Grill -- Iowa's second location -- opened Jan. 13, 2017. In addition to a Tanner's in Ankeny, the chain has locations in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Wisconsin.
"We're a Midwestern business and Sioux City seems like a good location for us," Clure said. "(Plus) our research showed that (Sioux City's) northside was in need of a place like ours."
Business has been brisk for people wanting to sample such Tanner's staples as the aforementioned Chicken Lips; the Mad Town Booga (a half-pound burger topped with slow-roasted corned beef, crispy fried onions, Thousand Island dressing and cheese on a freshly-baked bun); and the Tasty Tanner-Loin (a seriously oversized pork tenderloin sandwich that comes with mayo and your choice of fries, tater tots, potato chips or cottage cheese).
"Nobody leaves here hungry, that's for sure," Clure said.
It also should be noted that dinners won't be leaving Tanner's thirsty either. They have an extensive menu of beers on tap as well as an increasing number of specialty craft beers.
Yet Clure cautions against calling Tanner's strictly a sports bar. Despite the number of big screen TV's situated around the dining area, he said the customer base is much broader than that.
"You may see families coming in for lunch or senior citizens coming in for early dinner specials or couples wanting a relaxing place to get away from it all," he said. "We want to be welcoming to everyone."
In fact, Clure likens Tanner's to a neighborhood bar where servers welcome diners by name.
And if Tanner's tables remind you of your mom's dining room table set from the 1980s, that's entirely intentional.
"This is exactly the vibe that we're going for," he said. pointing out Tanner's oak chairs, tables and bar. "We could've decorated with sleek, contemporary furnishings. Instead, our dining room has a nice, familiar feel."
A sense of familiarity extends to Tanner's menu of comfort food favorites that are never frozen.
"Whether it's our burgers, wings, sandwich baskets or healthier fare, everything is made fresh and made to order," Clure said.
A sign inside Tanner's dining room comes with the inscription: "The Friendly Purveyors of Good Times, Fine Foods and the Pause That Refreshes."
"We want to be that unpretentious neighborhood bar where you know you'll always get great food while having good times."