Iowa City’s newest coffee shop isn’t actually in a shop. Fix! is in the common area on the south side of the second floor of The Chauncey, Iowa City’s newest high-rise.
“Originally, the building was not designed with a coffee shop in mind,” said Monica Moen, owner of Fix! and a member of the Moen Group, the building’s developer.
But Moen realized that a coffee stand might be a welcome feature for occupants and visitors to The Chauncey, so she converted a second-floor closet into a work area for baristas.
Moen knew what kind of coffee shop she wanted to open — one that would encourage people to relax (despite the caffeine) and talk with friends; one that serves its coffee and tea in interesting cups on willow trays. But even though she had experience in customer service, Moen had never worked in a food or beverage business.
“I don’t like to be ill-prepared for things,” Moen said. “In February, I attended the Seattle Barista Academy for a week, in order to learn about sciences of coffee, which just absolutely intrigued me. I knew I needed to have that information under my belt to get a sense of what needs to be done in order to prepare the perfect espresso.”
Moen also hired an experienced manager. Max Johnson used to manage the cafe at Prairie Lights (and was the music editor at Little Village, back when Little Village had a music editor).
“He’s been instrumental in attracting career baristas to work in the shop,” Moen said. “It’s been extremely comforting for me that we’ve got a group of really earnest, committed and devoted baristas.”
Fix! started serving customers this week. Its hours are currently 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. In the coming weeks, the hours will expand to 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.