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Bank slides into Brown Bottle space

BY BILL COONEY | FEBRUARY 12, 2015 5:00 AM

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MidWestOne Bank will soon occupy the former home of the downtown Brown Bottle.

“We’re going to be moving the teller lines into that building due to construction in our main lobby that will start soon,” said Matt Fettkether, the security and facility officer for MidWestOne Bank, 102 S. Clinton St.

He said the bank will occupy the facility at least until August, but it could remain longer because of several construction projects. The bank is undergoing renovations in its lobby, which are a part of multimillion-dollar historic-preservation project.

“Since we don’t exactly know when we’ll be done with the space, its impossible to say what could move in there when we are; we’ll just have to see,” Fettkether said.

Joni Schrup, the owner of Discerning Eye, 119 E. Washington St., said she was aware that MidWestOne will move into the space.

“I’d like to see some retail move into the space once they’re done,” she said. “Maybe a cooking store or some kind of children’s store, something that isn’t downtown yet.”

“I don't think we need another restaurant or bar to move in,” she said. “There’s a good number of those downtown already.”

One resident, however, said he would like to see a restaurant.

“We could always use another pizza place downtown, in my opinion,” said Tom Reese, the manager at Running Wild, 121 E. Washington St. “That or we could sure use it as a storeroom.”

Reese said he’s not worried about what will move into the space because Iowa City does a good job bringing businesses to downtown.

“I think really positive things are happening downtown, so I’m sure whatever they decide to put in there will be great,” he said.

There hasn’t yet been an official announcement by the bank on when the move will take place.

“We’re doing this for the convenience of our customers,” Fettkether said. “We want to keep things simple and streamlined for them while we're undergoing this construction.”

The Brown Bottle, previously at 115 E. Washington St., occupied the building for 40 years until closing on Dec. 7. Owner Dave Landau previously told *The Daily Iowan* that business had been dropping in the Iowa City location, and he was needed at the North Liberty location more.

“We just had conversations with our landlord, MidWestOne Bank, and it needed space to speed up remodeling,” Landau said in December. “I needed to be out to take care of North Liberty, so it worked out for both of us.”

The North Liberty location opened in 1994.

Brown Botttle’s December closing announcement came three months after the downtown location’s 40th anniversary.


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