ReUnion Brewery to open Iowa City location by end of 2022

Coralville’s ReUnion Brewery is opening a location in the Iowa City Pedestrian Mall later this year. Owner Jim Mondanaro, estimates the new location will seat up to 450 people.


Dimia Burrell

The outside of the brewery and restaurant, ReUnion, is seen in Coralville on Monday, Feb. 28, 2022. A second ReUnion restaurant is set to open in Iowa City.

Sam Knupp, News Reporter

ReUnion Brewery will soon be an option for a craft beer in downtown Iowa City.

The owners hope to have a location open on College Street before September.

ReUnion opened in 2016 in Coralville in place of Mondo’s Tomato Pie. Its Iowa City location is set to occupy the space once held by the Union, Givanni’s, and Graze.

Owner Jim Mondanaro said he’s excited about what a new location will do for the Iowa City Pedestrian Mall and the downtown scene.

“We haven’t had a sense of norm in downtown for really the last four years,” Mondanaro said.  “And with that south side of College Street being completely renovated with the Tailwind Group, that’s the final piece of the puzzle.”

The Tailwind group is working on revitalizing several storefronts in the Ped Mall, and constructing a new 11-story apartment complex on the mall.

ReUnion Iowa City location will have multiple levels from three different storefronts, with a seating capacity of 450 — patios included. Mondanaro said because of the increased seating capacity of the Iowa City location, there will likely be a smaller menu of 15 to 25 items that will change over time, focusing on quality over quantity.

“We do good food, we always have,” he said. “That’s just what our mantra is. We’re not concerned about that. We’re not concerned about the beer. It’s just getting all the dots to connect.”

Mondanaro said he expects the Iowa City drink menu to have the same variety of beers the Coralville location is known for.

Despite planning to open during a time where many businesses experiencing staffing shortages, Mondanaro said he’s confident that what ReUnion brings to downtown Iowa City will be a point of attraction for potential employees, and that he will find the right people.

As the owner of Bread Garden Market and Joseph’s Steakhouse, Mondanaro said he is familiar with downtown Iowa City and what’s necessary to succeed there, having owned various businesses in the corridor for over 40 years.

“We already employ over 300 people with what we do right now,” he said, “So we’ll pull from that foundation and move forward.”

Kris Kass, chief operating officer for ReUnion, said she looks forward to opening the Iowa City location because of the memories she made there when she first moved to the area.

“It was kind of like this utopia and oasis where there was just a lot of fun to be had,” she said, “My experience was idealistic, but most of the people I ran into downtown, whether I knew them or not, we all had fun.”

Along with promoting ReUnion’s brand, Kass looks forward to opening a creative space that is welcoming and safe for people to enjoy Iowa City.

Kass said she also hopes to tap into the student market at the new location given its proximity to the university.

“It kind of feels like the sky’s the limit between becoming even more consistent with food, and then fine tuning the service,” she said.

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