The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Hamburg Inn No. 2 reopens in time for UI Homecoming weekend

Gold Cap Hospitality, founded by former Hawkeye, Nate Kaeding, purchased the local diner earlier this year. The diner reopened Thursday.
Kathy Le
Opening day at the Hamburg Inn No. 2 after renovations were made in Iowa City, on Thursday, Oct. 4, 2023.

Dozens of customers lined up to enter the door of Hamburg Inn No. 2 at 6:30 a.m. Thursday morning to get a taste of the iconic Iowa City restaurant’s new refresh.

Hamburg Inn No. 2 reopened Thursday morning under new management. The restaurant, located at 214 N. Linn St., opened at 7 a.m. to continue serving the Iowa City area after recent closures and a change in ownership.

“It’s been pretty steady,” Stephanie Breitbach Director of Hospitality for Gold Cap group, said. “There are a lot of people coming that were planning on it, but we’ve had some people coming in that just kind of happened upon it.”

Breitbach said after the group acquired the diner, their main goal was to be a part of the Iowa City community. With the University of Iowa’s Homecoming weekend approaching, she said there wasn’t a better time to reopen than the present.

“We’re hoping that we can not only catch the people that live here, but we want to catch the people that maybe have a history with Hamburg too,” she said. “They’re back once a year for a football game and they’re here for the nostalgia, but kind of give them a new experience as well.”

The Hamburg’s new operating hours, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday, began Thursday morning just in time for UI’s Homecoming weekend.

Opened nearly 90 years ago, the diner became an Iowa City staple through its slew of presidential and political candidates that often visit during Iowa’s caucus season. The diner has previously been visited by former presidents, including former U.S. presidents Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama.

Staying true to the restaurant’s political history, customers will once again be encouraged to participate in the long-established Coffee Bean Caucus, which is a straw poll for national and state political candidates.

New ownership

The local diner was purchased in August by Gold Cap Hospitality group, with intentions to preserve and grow the iconic history of the home-grown business.

According to the group’s website, they believe that Iowa City is the best college town in the country.

“We believe in building restaurants with a soul, that enhance neighborhoods, and connect the people in them,” the statement written on the website says.

Gold Cap Hospitality, founded by former Hawkeye and NFL player Nate Kaeding, owns Iowa City restaurants Pullman Bar & Diner and St. Burch Tavern.

The group also consists of partners Matt Swift, Cory Kent, Benjamin Smart, Doug Goettsch, John Maske, and Breitbach.

The collective released a statement on the restaurant’s website shortly after taking over ownership, writing that the building was in need of repairs.

“We’re taking stock of the things that are broken along with the things that aren’t,” Kaeding wrote in the statement. “The Burg doesn’t need new ideas. At least, we don’t think it does. It just needs to remember who it was.”

More to Discover
About the Contributors
Sydney Becker
Sydney Becker, News Reporter
Sydney is a senior at the University of Iowa majoring in Journalism, while also obtaining a writing certificate. Previous to her role as a news reporter, she worked as a sports reporter for The Daily Iowan during her freshman year and as an editorial writer for campus organizations.
Kathy Le, Photojournalist
Kathy Le is a fourth-year student at The University of Iowa majoring in 3D design and Art History. This is her first year working as a photojournalist of Daily Iowan.