The Brown Bottle was established in 1972 in Cedar Falls, Iowa by Donald Landau. The Iowa City restaurant opened two years later, Waterloo followed shortly thereafter, and North Liberty joined us in 1994. The original recipes and sauces were developed by Donnalee Landau. The menu has since been expanded by the four Landau children, who now own and operate the businesses.

The name “Brown Bottle” derived from the Schlitz Brewery in the 70’s. They set the standard as the first company to sell beer in brown bottles instead of clear (to extend the beer’s shelf life). A tasting room at the Brewery was named “The Brown Bottle” to help market their new concept. The Landau family copyrighted the name and soon opened the first Brown Bottle Italian restaurant.

Over forty years ago, the quote “Where Good Food, Good Wine and Good Friends Go Together” was included on the first Brown Bottle menu. We still believe in the philosophy and strive to continue the tradition that our parents began. Sit back, relax, and enjoy yourselves!  


"Where Good Food, Good Wine and Good Friends Go Together!"