Fourth-annual Taste of Iowa City this weekend
Expect hungry people and delicious foods from Iowa City's finest restaurants to fill the streets in the central part of town next week.
The fourth-annual Taste of Iowa City will begin at 4 p.m. and run until 8 p.m. on Aug. 24. Food tickets can be purchased for $1 each at one of three ticket tents located near Black Hawk Park, at the intersection of Washington and Clinton Streets, and in the North Side Marketplace.
Attendees are welcome to sample menu favorites from around 35 restaurants.
Taste of Iowa City allows both new and current residents to get to know the central area and the most delicious restaurants. The businesses that participate in the event enjoy it just as much as the customers.
"I think the event has been very successful and is a wonderful 'welcome back' to the students," said Gina Landau, the owner of the Brown Bottle, 115 E. Washington St. "Being able to set up our table right outside our front door enables us to serve fresh, hot, and delicious food [as opposed to Taste of Chicago, where all the vendors have to serve food off-site]."
The business owners said they believe that Taste of Iowa City has a great community atmosphere and enables all kinds of people to try their restaurant, especially those who might not normally do so.
David Wieseneck, the owner of the Motley Cow Café, 160 N. Linn St., which will participate in the event for the second year, said he likes being able to show people what his restaurant is all about.
"We like to participate in events that bring the community together," he said.
Another restaurant that enjoys the spirit of community, as well as the exposure that Taste of Iowa City brings, is Graze, a participant since 2007.
"It's fun. A lot of people get to try our stuff," owner Peter Harman said. "We live here, and we love it."
Nicholas Arnold, the executive director of the Downtown Association of Iowa City, said the success of the event will continue this year.
"I expect we'll sell more than 20,000 tickets and see a few thousand attendees at this year's event," he said.
Wieseneck said the restaurants don't necessarily make money directly from the event, but they hope that Taste of Iowa City will bring in more people and spread the word about their business and the mouth-watering food they serve.
Landau agrees. She said she thinks Taste of Iowa City does a great job of bringing people into restaurants.
"I know that we've gained new customers because they are able to taste little bites from our menu for a nominal charge," she said.
Shrimp cocktail, spaghetti marinara, and brownie pie (Brown Bottle's signature dessert) are among the treats to sample. Graze's signature Chicken Lips and locally produced foods from Motley Cow will also be featured.
The event offers some new tastes this year as well. Restaurants will serve nonalcoholic beverages along with their food items for the first time. One option to taste is the "Raspberry Smash" from Graze.
"The event creates a positive word of mouth about downtown and its businesses," Landau said.
comments powered by Disqus