Two national chains have come together to bring together two on-the-go favorites: bagels and coffee.
Iowa City’s downtown Bruegger’s Bagels has joined forces with Caribou Coffee to have Iowa’s first combined store.
A grand reopening will be held Friday for the new store, 245 Iowa Ave., after weeks of closing early for renovations.
“Bruegger’s and Caribou have a long history of being next to each other and being successful,” said Shelley Knaeble, vice president of cobrand operations at Bruegger’s.
The building, which is less than a year old, underwent renovations to hold the Caribou equipment, as well as new signs.
“We’re all very excited about [the grand reopening],” said Jim Crowley, the district manager of Bruegger’s.
In October 2013, the downtown Bruegger’s held a grand reopening; its previous building burned down on Sept. 24, 2011.
The renovations cost approximately $175,000, Knaeble said.
“We’re very excited to come to Iowa,” she said. “It was our fifth bakery in that company so we are extremely excited to bring Caribou into the mix down there. We think the students will be very excited.”
Iowa residents won’t just see the partnership in downtown Iowa City.
Across the river, the Bruegger’s on Riverside Drive is being relocated across the street — and it will include a drive-through along with Caribou Coffee.
In addition, Bruegger’s Coralville location is being renovated to include a Caribou.
Two other partnership locations will also be added to places other than Johnson County.
A Bruegger’s-Caribou is being built in Davenport, and the Bruegger’s in Bettendorf is being renovated to include a Caribou.
“The biggest thing we’re excited about is to bring both of them together in one roof,” Knaeble said. “Our guest response has been great in other places, and we’re looking for the same success in Iowa.”
University of Iowa student Aishwarya Parandkar said she has gone to Bruegger’s before but does not know whether students will see the new addition as a coffee shop she would study at.
“We already have a lot of coffee places here, so why not one more,” Parandkar said. “Java House is really popular because it is also a place to relax and study, where Caribou Coffee within Bruegger’s might just be coffee itself and won’t be a place to just sit down and study.”
Parandkar said she could see herself buying some coffee when she stops in for a bagel.
However, some students don’t see the appeal of the new Caribou at all.
UI sophomore Serena Zachary said she would probably not go to Bruegger’s even if it starts selling Caribou Coffee.
“I’m more of a Starbucks person, or I make my own coffee,” Zachary said. “I probably wouldn’t go there because I’m not a huge fan of Caribou.”
But with Iowa City as a college town, Zachary said she thinks students will always have a need for coffee.
“I love coffee, I make my own, I go to Starbucks a lot, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having another coffee shop,” Zachary said. “I guess it’s best to keep it local, but at the same time, students need coffee.”