Café takes over corner

Arty’s Sunnyside Café is open Wednesday to Sunday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., located at Third and Calhoun St.


“I don’t do anything halfway,” says Sakir Alimoski with determination in his eyes; a Wilton man who is as much an entrepreneur as he is a restaurateur.

“We took this on full steam ahead,” he says. “I don’t plan to be here for two years, I plan to be here for the long haul. We’re going to do this the right way.”

Alimoski recently opened Arty’s Sunnyside Café at the corner of Third and Calhoun St. in West Liberty, in what was formerly Savor by Chef D, and Mangolandia before that.

The restaurant focuses on breakfast and lunch; so skillets, omelets and pancakes in the morning followed by burgers, wraps and homestyle meals in the afternoon.

The old bank building has been many things over the years, including several restaurants. However, Alimoski plans to make this one stick with hard work, community support and a wealth of experience.

“As a family we’ve been doing this for 30 years, my dad’s been doing this since he was 18, I’ve been in restaurants since I was nine. This is what I do; this is what I know,” he says.

His father, Andy, owns the Muscatine Family Restaurant as well as Muskie Energy in Muscatine while his brother Boni owns the Waffle House in the same city.

Meanwhile, his brother Mendim owns the Wilton Café, a restaurant that Sakir himself started and ran for nearly seven years before selling it to his brother.

Back to Sakir Alimoski, he also owns Arty’s Ice Cream and Grille in Wilton, a successful restaurant that he opened in 2019 right before the pandemic.

So yes, he knows a thing or two about restaurants. They’re not easy. In fact, they’re very hard. But the 32-year-old knows what he needs to make a successful run in West Liberty.

“When you come here, I’d like to know your name,” he says. “I’d like to get to know and form a friendship with most of the regulars if I can.”

“A big part of what I’d like to do, what I’ve done in Wilton, is become a part of the community. I support the community and they support me,” he adds.

Alimoski is certainly well known around Wilton. He uses his restaurant there to support the community beyond just doing business. That’s what he wants for West Liberty.

“I’m not just by myself, I’m here with the town. We give thousands upon thousands in Wilton. If we’re successful we’ll do that here. It’s not just me, it’s the whole town,” he says.

“I feed the ones that feed us,” he says.

Funny enough, when he first came to West Liberty he wasn’t looking to start a restaurant, he was merely meeting with community developer Brad Akers about building apartments.

However, they took a detour to look at the building, which was for sale at the time.

“I wasn’t here to look at a restaurant, but I fell in love with the upstairs and saw the potential for a restaurant,” he says. “I thought, let’s give it a shot.”

So, a few months later Arty’s Sunnyside Café officially opened to the public on Wednesday, March 6, 2024. Believe it or not, this is merely phase one.

Alimoski plans to open an ice cream parlor across the street from Giri BP this summer, which will also include energy drinks and espresso. 

He hopes to get it running by June as a seasonal business, where he’ll employ as many as 35 to 30 local teenagers. He understands they have sports and other summer activities, so he plans to work around them.

However, his focus at the moment is on the café.

“My goal after signing those papers was doing it the right way; we’re going to make a living out of this,” he says of both business ventures.

He’ll rent the space for the ice cream parlor, but he owns the building that is now Arty’s Sunnyside Café. This allows him to make the necessary modifications needed for the restaurant.

He’s put together a quality full-service menu in a good environment that creates a positive experience. He says prices are competitive and the portions are large.

“We have hearty plates, big plates filled with large portions with a variety of whatever you can think of,” he says.

As for the name, he and his wife Alex have a four-year-old son nick-named Arty. It makes sense, Alimoski comes from a restaurant-minded family after all.

“We wanted something meaningful, but also something that was catchy,” he says. “Arty is something you can remember easily, so we named it after him.”

“Arty will be turning five in May, and Arty’s in Wilton will be turning five in December,” he adds, “We got a great crew in Wilton, and we’re starting one here.”

Arty’s Sunnyside Café is currently open Wednesday to Sunday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. The goal is to also be open on Tuesdays in the future.

For right now, he’s taking it day by day.

“I’m just a hardworking, down to earth guy just trying to make a living, like so many others,” he says. “I hope the people here will see that and support us.”

cafe, arty, corner