Mediterranean-inspired coffeeshop ‘Cortado’ to open this fall in downtown Iowa City

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Cortado Coffee & Cafe hopes to open early this fall in downtown Iowa City. Photo by Matthew Steele
Photo by Matthew Steele

Signage appeared this weekend announcing a new coffeeshop in downtown Iowa City — Cortado Coffee & Café, 26 S. Clinton Street (the former location of Austin Burke Clothier).

Reached for comment, co-owner Yochai Harel shared his background and hopes for Cortado, mentioning that it will provide espresso and coffee drinks while bringing “some Mediterranean flavor influences into wholesome sandwiches and salads.”

Read the full statement:

I have worked in coffee shops and cafes since 2004. I started as a barista in a mall-based bagel cafe in the suburbs north of Tel Aviv and most recently served as the general manager for an espresso bar in Midtown Manhattan. Upon moving here with my family three years ago, I saw that Iowa City didn’t have the European metropolitan-inspired coffee and cafe experience that was so popular in other places I have lived and traveled. Given the locals’ appreciation of food and drink and their strong support of local businesses, I realized there was a market for introducing some new tastes in espresso and coffee drinks and some Mediterranean flavor influences into wholesome sandwiches and salads. My hope is that Cortado will bring to downtown Iowa City a fast-paced cafe serving consistently fresh and delicious fare where everyone knows your name (and your drink!). We aim to open early Fall 2016.


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