New caffeination destinations open in Iowa City

Dash Coffee Roasters and Dunkin’ have both opened locations near the UI campus.


Megan Conroy

The new Dunkin’ Donuts sign can be seen on Clinton St. on Sunday, August 25.

Rachel Steil, News Reporter

Over the summer, two new coffee joints have opened near campus at the University of Iowa: branches of Dash Coffee Roasters and Dunkin’. Since then, doughnuts have been fried, cold brews have been proudly crafted, and business has been booming.

Dash Coffee Roasters opened shop at 287 N. Linn St. in late May. The new Dunkin’, located in Iowa Book, opened its doors to the Iowa City community on Aug. 8. 

The new Dash Coffee Roasters location has been serving mostly Northside families and residents, said Michael Beyne, General Manager at Dash Coffee Roasters. However, as the semester kicks in, the shop may see more student clientele. 

“We are doing our thing,” Beyne said. “People will come.”

Beyne is not afraid of any competition from other coffee joints downtown old or new. Good is not good enough, he explained. Beyne wants Dash Coffee Roasters to be held to a higher standard than its peers.

“Our coffee will definitely stand out,” Beyne said. “We are a bit different.” 

Over at Dunkin’, convenience is key. According to Chris Benge, Director of Store Operations at Eastern Iowa Food Service, Dunkin’ has wanted to open a location downtown near campus for quite some time. 

“It was just a matter of finding the right location,” Benge said. 

Working with Iowa Book has been a positive opportunity and experience, Benge said, and the location is perfect for serving the campus and downtown community.

Though the new Dunkin’  location does not offer a full food menu, there is a full drink menu. And, of course, the location offers the famous fried Dunkin’ doughnuts. 

The UI may see more of Dunkin’ in the future, according to Chris Burr, director of non-traditional development at Dunkin’ Brands, in an email to The Daily Iowan.

“In addition to the new restaurant located in the Iowa Book store, we hope to bring our signature coffees and baked goods to the main University of Iowa’s campus in the future,” Burr said.

Like Beyne at Dash Coffee Roasters, Benge is not afraid of Dunkin’ facing any competition.

“We have donuts and coffee,” Benge said. “It’s our thing.” 

UI sophomore Ileana Minor said that she would be heading to Dunkin’ before class almost every day. 

“I’m super excited,” Minor said. “It’s cheap and convenient.” 

UI sophomore and Iowa City native Elizabeth Tornblom agreed, but said that its cheap convenience often led to less quality coffee at Dunkin’.

“Java House is way better,” Tornblom said of Iowa City’s prominent coffee joint. 

Whether students want established coffee joints or convenient coffee, Burr said it’s delighted and ready to serve the campus community. 

“We’re proud to keep America’s colleges and universities running on Dunkin’ with about 100 campus locations nationwide,” Burr wrote. “Providing students with early morning espressos, afternoon snacks, late-night coffee pick-me-ups, and everything in between.”