Today’s grand opening of the new Iowa City Jamba Juice and Bruegger’s Bagels joint location on Riverside Drive drew in roughly 350 people during the first four hours of business. A line of customers went from the cash register to the door and the outside of the bakery was festooned with bagel-shaped balloons.
McKenzie Jerman, a University of Iowa student, and Emily Fisher, who was visiting from Des Moines, were among those visiting the new location on opening day. They sat outside on the patio grabbing photos of their energy bowls, which are smoothies covered in granola and fruit.
“I love açaí bowls,” Jerman said. “They are delicious.”
She said she was happy to see a new smoothie place in town, which she said was lacking in the Iowa City area.
Another group, walking back to work at the state archaeologist office, clutched bagels and coffee.
“I went because it was free and anything free is good. It was good marketing on their part because I wouldn’t have gone otherwise,” Jennifer Mac, who had never been to a Bruegger’s before, said.
As part of the grand opening, customers could pick between a free bagel, small Jamba Juice smoothie or small specialty espresso drink.
Bruegger’s President Paul Carolan watched the drive-thru lane as a line of cars waited to place orders.
“It’s only been four hours, but so far so good,” he said.
This is only the fourth Bruegger’s in the country to open with a Jamba Juice inside, and he said they were hoping to use the locations as tests to see how the Jamba Juice appeal fares during winter weather.
“I’ve had more people tell me they’ve been waiting for this to come in,” Carolan said.
A previous Bruegger’s location across the street closed last year.