Dash Coffee Roasters is opening an Iowa City cafe

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Phil and Rebecca Davidson standing in front of the new Dash Coffee location in Iowa City. — photo courtesy of Rebecca Davidson

Dash Coffee Roasters is opening an Iowa City cafe this spring. The North Linn Street space will be the second location for Dash.

“We’re hoping to open sometime in May,” Rebecca Davidson, who owns and runs Dash with her husband Phil, told Little Village.

The Iowa City cafe will feature the complete Dash drink menu of coffee and “not coffee” (teas, smoothies and the Unicorn Hot Chocolate), but not its entire food menu.

“We’ll have breakfast sandwiches, and lots of grab-and-go snack options,” Davidson said.

The Davidsons opened Dash in November 2017, in a restored Kingston Village building that had been in empty since the 2008 flood in Cedar Rapids. The historic structure was home to Rowell Hardware Store in the 1920s.

“Life comes down to the dash that represents all you’ve spent your years doing,” is how the Davidsons explain the name of their business on its website.

“Phil and I had the privilege of managing several cafes around the Corridor and beyond for several years” before starting Dash, Davidson said.

“We’re really being intentional about the way that we treat coffee — all the way back to the farmers that are growing the coffee, through when we serve that coffee to the guest,” Davidson explained. “Also, the aspect of growing a community space where relationships are built on a daily basis is very intentional here.”

“Our guests are very important to us here at Dash, and it becomes like family.”

There’s also a member of the Davidson family who’s represented at Dash, even though she never shows up at the cafe. Pirate Pup, the coffee blend Dash uses for its espresso drinks, is named in honor of Tabby, the Davidsons’ 13-year-old, one-eyed Shih Tzu.

“It was just a way of paying homage to her cuteness, and a fun way to incorporate some of our personal life into our business,” Davidson said. “She’s gone through a lot.”

Tabby was born with a permanently dilated eye, and as a puppy was hit by a truck. A cancerous tumor behind her eye, which required the removal of the eye, and later inspired the eye-patch image on the Pirate Pup blend.


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Pirate Pup Coffee — photo courtesy of Dash Coffee Roasters

“She’s seems to have nine lives,” Davidson said. “She’s doing fine now.”

Dash’s new Iowa City site is located in the 287 N Linn St, next to Luxe Interiors.

“We’re really excited about joining the Northside community,” Davidson said.

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