Iowa City May Get Sidewalk Cafes

Posted in: Iowa City Owl
Iowa City may be looking at sidewalk cafes for some of its downtown diners, giving people the option of eating outside as well as inside the diners.

According to, Iowa City is starting to consider regulations that will allow the restaurants in downtown Iowa City to set up eating areas outside in parking areas on the street if the restaurants set up platforms for them.

According to, the idea for the sidewalk cafes was started by Jim Mondanaro, the owner of Mickey's Irish Pub and Grill. He is renovating his business and presented the idea because he would like to include one in his own design.

There are already plans and requirements being established for businesses that want to set up the outdoor cafes, including a possible requirement for the consent of the tenants next to them and a restriction for the amount of space that will be allowed for the outdoor cafes.

There is also a potential time restriction for what time of year the cafes would be allowed. Fees are being discussed for the spaces as well. 

This may seem like an exciting development, but not everyone supports the idea as of yet because the outside eating space will take up some of the already-lacking amount of parking available downtown. Other business owners support the idea because it is new and different. It could attract a lot of new customers.

Outdoor eating areas for businesses are not completely new. This proposal for eateries jutting into the street is specified only for businesses that do not have the sidewalk space for the cafes.

The Iowa City council will vote on the issue during their meeting on August 21.
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