The Daily Iowan

Hamburg Inn No. 2 opens second location

Hamburg Inn opens a new location in Iowa City.

Hamburg+Inn+No.+2+is+seen+on+Sunday%2C+August+27%2C+2017.+The+business+recently+opened+a+second+location+on+2221+Rochester+Avenue+in+Iowa+City.+%28James+Year%2FThe+Daily+Iowan%29
Hamburg Inn No. 2 is seen on Sunday, August 27, 2017. The business recently opened a second location on 2221 Rochester Avenue in Iowa City. (James Year/The Daily Iowan)

Hamburg Inn No. 2 is seen on Sunday, August 27, 2017. The business recently opened a second location on 2221 Rochester Avenue in Iowa City. (James Year/The Daily Iowan)

Hamburg Inn No. 2 is seen on Sunday, August 27, 2017. The business recently opened a second location on 2221 Rochester Avenue in Iowa City. (James Year/The Daily Iowan)

Emily Wangen, [email protected]

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Hamburg Inn No. 2, an Iowa City staple, has recently expanded to a new location at 2221 Rochester Ave.

Hamburg Inn was established in 1935 with the original location on Iowa Avenue, which was destroyed in a fire. It reopened on Iowa Avenue and then closed that location in the late-70s. Hamburg Inn once had a location in Cedar Rapids, Hamburg Inn No. 3, but after closing the doors on that location, the North Side restaurant was the only remaining location until now.

“The history of the Hamburg Inn is super important to our brand as a whole, and it really ups the value of our restaurant to our customers,” said Leo Cody, a Hamburg employee.

Cody has worked at the downtown location for approximately 10 months, but Hamburg Inn is a big part of her life.

“My mother worked here, and my dad lived in the apartments upstairs, and he used to come down for coffee every morning, and my mother would serve him and that’s how they met,” Cody said. “So this is the reason I exist.”

The new location has been open for several weeks, but the full schedule went into effect this past week.

RELATED: Historic Hamburg Inn sold

Assistant Manager Cory Hanson noted the first week of full-time operation had a handful of hiccups but otherwise ran smoothly. He described the new location as a satellite to the North Side location, with many food items transported to the new location after being prepared at the older establishment.

The main difference between the two locations is size, Hanson said; the new location is located at the J&S Express gas station.

Despite the differences in size, Hanson aims for consistency in all aspects of the restaurant.

“There are a few items on their menu that we just outright did not have any space for, and because sales for those said items were so low, we decided not to carry them ourselves,” Hanson said.

However, the new location serves Hamburg Inn’s popular dishes, including the well-known pie shakes.

The customer base at the new location the past few weeks has been largely made up of families and senior citizens, Hanson said, but he isn’t sure what the location’s customer base is quite yet because the restaurant is still in the early stages.

RELATED: Hamburg Inn to go global

He hopes the new Hamburg Inn location stays. He has observed many food-service businesses in their location closing their doors after being open a short time and hopes to be the exception.

Hanson said Friday was one of the busiest days for the new location with sales being nearly double what they have been any other day.

“I was very surprised when I looked in the computer to check right when I came in … and when [the other manager] checked it was another $200 up, and it was only like 10 minutes.” Hanson said.

Sunday the new location closed early at 1 p.m. after running out of food.

Hanson noted sales are something he is mindful of but not too worried about.

“We’re riding on a very popular brand,” he said.

Grace Friedman has been on the staff of the Hamburg Inn North Side location for nearly one year but a customer for many more.

“I’ve been coming to the Hamburg since I was really young, so I’ve always really liked the place. It’s very friendly, and everyone is happy to be here,” she said, “Everyone’s very welcoming and accepting. If you need help, they’re there for you.”

Hamburg Inn’s place in politics is also part of the reason behind its popularity, Friedman said — the restaurant has been a hotspot for political candidates over the years.

Despite the addition of the new location, the restaurant has stayed busy.

“I think the people that come here [North Side] are pretty loyal.” Friedman said.

Hanson said having a location away from the downtown brings in customers from the neighboring residential area, and Friedman also believes having two locations in different parts of town is a positive.

“Even though we don’t have the fanciest food, we are still well-known, and people love us because of our history and because of the people who work here and their positivity.” Cody said.

 

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