30hop brings city vibe


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Each week, The Daily Iowan will provide an in-depth look at a local business.

Approaching the doors of 30hop, one could certainly notice the large rooftop bar resting on top of the indoor seating.

Dan Blum, a part owner and the general manager of the bar and grill, 900 E. Second Ave., Coralville, is happy with the results after only five and a half months of business.

After traveling around the country, Blum said one goal for the owners was to bring the “city” vibe of a rooftop restaurant and bar to the area. And so far, they feel it has been a success.

“It’s been a great start,” he said. “We’re always seeing new faces. But we also have a good corps of people that have been here many times.”

Manager Mike Waters emphasized the restaurant’s unique name.

“30hop is kind of a play on words like 30 Rockefeller’s ’30 Rock’ and the word hops, which is a core ingredient in beer,” Waters said. “The theme of the restaurant and the rooftop bar brings a big city feel into the Iowa City/ Coralville area.”

The restaurant features more than 60 taps flowing with a wide range of beers.

“There are four domestic beers, and the other tap lines are reserved for craft beers that we pull from all over the U.S.,” Waters said. “And we pull from several local breweries: four from the state of Iowa and four from a Coralville Brewery called Backpocket.”

When it comes to choosing the beers it has on tap, a mix of uniqueness and approachability for the less adventurous beer connoisseurs is crucial, Blum said.

“We try to keep a wide pendulum of approachable beers,” he said. “And then have a few that are geared more toward some of the people that are much more versed in craft beer.”

On the menu, the most popular items are the sandwiches, particularly the “50/50 Burger,” Blum said, which is named for its half burger and half bacon content.

“As far as food goes, we try to find a balance between having very approachable food … but at the same time trying to be somewhat unique and offer a little bit of a twist on a traditional approach,” he said.

Waters said he hopes the rooftop bar will eventually be available year round.

“An enclosure is something we are working toward so we can have that next year,” Waters said.

Employees said the restaurant has a relaxed atmosphere — enabled by dim lighting, a vibrant color scheme, and a sense of ambience.

“It’s very fun and more laid-back than other places, you know?” server Jordan Yordi said. “You just come, hang out, and have a good time.”

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