Goldfinch Tap + Eatery in Marion Raises Christmas Gifts for Kids Thanks to Whoville Display

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By making a destination for Christmas, the restaurant continues to shape downtown Marion into a destination

On December 1, Goldfinch Tap + Eatery opened with a Whoville theme to inspire generosity for its Giving Tree, which has helped make Christmas gifts possible for nearly 40 children in Marion. (Goldfinch Tap + Restaurant)

MARION — With people everywhere wondering what they’re getting for Christmas or making plans for where to spend it, a restaurant in Marion makes the holiday the who.

That is, Whoville.

This holiday season, diners at Goldfinch Tap + Eatery learned about a new decorating theme for a good cause – delivering Christmas gifts to nearly 40 Marion children who might otherwise have gone without. This year.

Plush-trimmed roofs cover every table at the Goldfinch Tap+Eatery in Marion, dressed for a Whoville theme in December. (Goldfinch Tap + Restaurant)

On Dec. 1, the restaurant underwent an overnight transformation from a swanky downtown diner to the campy town of Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” in the restaurant’s most over-the-top Christmas celebration since its inception. opening in 2019.

Images of malls in front of the windows line the walls, stalls have “shelter” huts with colorful tiles and stuffed with plush, giant ornaments float above the bar and Santa hats behind the chairs.

And on December 14, they saw the reward by delivering gifts to their partner in the effort, Marion Cares, where a social worker helped identify families in need.

As they invited people to experience special themes in various parts of Goldfinch’s dining rooms, special events coordinator Taylor Cole said they had to complete their Giving Tree three times.

A station-themed welcome booth awaits diners at Goldfinch Tap+Eatery this month, part of a few themes in place for December 2021. (Goldfinch Tap+Eatery)

“Within 48 hours, half of the tags were gone,” she said. “We had to call to get more families to sponsor. It ended up being a lot bigger than we thought (it would be).”

The Welcome Booth is now a ticket office, with a host who dresses up as a conductor most nights to direct you to a Polar Express themed bar or other table. When Santa Claus shows up, they dress up as an elf.

“We had buy-in from all the staff,” Cole said.

If bright pastels and fluff balls aren’t your thing, tables with a cool blue winter theme adorn the private dining room.

A True Blue Christmas theme adorns the private dining room at Goldfinch Tap + Eatery in Marion in December 2021. (Goldfinch Tap + Eatery)

Although they considered outdoor igloos like other restaurants, they wanted to do something out of the box. And in researching what to do, they settled on the Who – another reason to leave home.

“I like a good pun. How the Finch Stole Christmas went off my tongue when I sent this dream board to our owners,” Cole said. “What could be more classic than ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas? »

But if it serves a good cause, this effort is part of a larger trend in Marion that will persist after the holidays are over: making Marion a destination.

If you are going to:

Or: Goldfinch Tap + Eatery, 740 10th St., Marion.

When: Whoville and Winter Wonderland themed decorations and a revamped menu will be in place until New Years Day.

“Being new to Iowa, I felt like there weren’t a lot of cold weather destinations. We wanted to become a destination — something to put smiles on people’s faces,” Cole said. “Something the public looks forward to outside of the typical dining experience.”

By creating a laid-back winter destination for food and drink, Goldfinch hopes to make downtown Marion a destination in its own right when the dust from improvement projects settles. Soon they hope that Goldfinch will be a historical reference.

“I think Marion is almost like long distance versus Cedar Rapids,” she said. “There are so many options in Cedar Rapids. Getting people to drive to Marion, especially with construction, is an effort that everyone is doing.

Behind the bar stools, a Polar Express theme awaits diners at the Goldfinch Tap + Eatery in Marion, with a matching train locomotive at the end of the bar. (Goldfinch Tap + Restaurant)

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