Iowa City's Downtown Wedge and Capanna Location Closing Earlier to Avoid Drunken Patrons

The space next to the Iowa City Public Library has apparently become a magnet for rowdy behavior after 10:00 p.m. leading to the joint coffee and pizza location to close to hours earlier on Friday and Saturday.

They are present during the day, of course, but the herd of them truly hunts in dangerous packs at night, gathering to full strength on weekends. 

Zombies you ask?

No. Try drunken Pedestrian Mall revellers.

The scourge of roving drunks looking for the greasy food and available bathrooms they need to keep the night going have caused problems for the downtown Capanna coffee and Wedge Pizzeria locations. According to a Press-Citizen article, these intoxicated guests have used tables without ordering, knocked over signs, and ravaged bathrooms.

This has led the establishment with a shared location at 136 S. Dubuque St. to close two hours early on the Friday at Saturday at 10:00 p.m. instead of midnight as they had before.

Wedge and Capanna closing earlier to avoid drunk patrons (Iowa City Press-Citizen)

Steve Harding, manager at The Wedge, said he supported the decision.

“It’s very hard on the staff and the facility to allow those people in here since it just isn’t a very profitable time of night anyway,” he said. “It was becoming hard just to get them to leave. We tried to do what we could, we’ve had to call the police, and unfortunately the situation was untenable.”

While the 21-ordinance has been in effect since fall 2009, Harding said the crowds of unruly students coming to The Wedge and Capanna seemed to only pick up this semester.

Capanna in particular is a favorite for students studying for finals, as the spacious room, coffee specials, and extended hours on finals week makes it a favorite for late night cramming. 

KGAN's report on the subject revealed that 50-100 students that had been kicked out of other establishments would wind up at the space.

owa City Businesses Close Early Due to Rowdy Students (KGAN)

Claire Sabitt works at Capanna, a coffee and gelato shop that shares the same dining space as the pizzeria. 

“People will just start like knocking over chairs accidentally,” Sabitt said.

“They’ve just had so much to drink that they can’t really stand up.”

Even though she works behind a counter, she says the after 10 crowd can be overwhelming.

 “It just gets really insane,” she said. “So many people, it gets loud and messy.”

A scene neither shop says is good for business.

“They still kind of have that bar atmosphere which is not really the atmosphere of Capanna or The Wedge,” Sabitt said. 


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