The University of Iowa has been voted among the top party schools in the country for years. This is due in large part to the high number of bars in the downtown area, giving the UI’s undergraduate and graduate students little else to do on a weekend night. While the majority of students celebrate their school’s nationwide reputation as a party school, university administration and city officials have been working for years to change the downtown environment. Since the 21-ordinance passed in 2010 bars have closed and moved, freeing up space in the downtown area for new businesses and office space. For years the city economy has been ruled by alcohol and food sales from the university’s students. City officials are hoping to attract a more permanent, young professional crowd with new high rise developments. City officials are also hoping to slowly take the emphasis away from the bar scene and give new businesses the chance to thrive like they did before the opening of the Coral Ridge Mall in 1998.
The interactive map below shows the location of almost 20 bars within a just a few blocks of each other in Downtown Iowa City.