Wake N’ Bake Restaurant Revives Burlington Flavor

By Michaele Niehaus
The Hawk Eye, Burlington, Iowa

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Barbie Jackson and Brandy Hamlin were interested in opening a restaurant in downtown Burlington. They soon realized, Burlington was without a doughnut shop. Soon, with help from the “Greater Burlington Partnership’s entrepreneur competition” “Wake N’Bake” was officially born.

The Hawk Eye, Burlington, Iowa

Whether you’re craving southern cuisine, a taste of Portland, the long-absent Burlington spudnut or a daytime mimosa, you can find it downtown at Wake N’ Bake Breakfast Co.

Co-owners Barbie Jackson and Brandy Hamlin opened the restaurant June 14 inside the former tire shop at 713 Jefferson St. The two won the Greater Burlington Partnership’s entrepreneur competition for their business plan for the restaurant in May.

Jackson, a Burlington native, and Hamlin have owned businesses together for the past 13 years, starting with a bar called Beer Belly in Georgia.

“We’ve been around so many cool food places. We lived in Charleston, Atlanta, Portland. Greenville, South Carolina, is a real big food place now, and we just felt like this town needed a few more options and maybe some food from those other areas to give a variety,” Jackson said.

Included in that variety is chicken and waffles, a brie and baguette plate, an array of biscuit and croissant dishes, omelets, Hawaiian bread French toast, sandwiches, wraps, salads and burgers.

And then there are the spudnuts.

Jackson and Hamlin moved to Burlington in September and decided to look into opening some kind of daytime restaurant that also could serve as an entertainment venue. It was in winter they noticed the “For Lease” sign in the tire shop’s window.

“I could tell downtown was having a surge. Things were moving, but I just wanted to help any way we could to just make some more fun and kind of bridge the gap,” Jackson said. “You have The Sombrero here, The Paddlewheel down a couple blocks and a lot of business toward the river, but there was this dead zone here.”

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