Retail kitchen store to open in former Motley Cow Cafe in Iowa City

Family-owned business to open in April 2020

The Prairie Kitchen Store's future location at 160 North Linn Street in Iowa City's Northside Marketplace, where the Mot
The Prairie Kitchen Store’s future location at 160 North Linn Street in Iowa City’s Northside Marketplace, where the Motley Cow Cafe closed in June 2017. (Courtesy of Prairie Kitchen Store)

IOWA CITY — A different tenant than previously announced will move into the space the Motley Cow Cafe used to call home in Iowa City.

The Felker family of Iowa City announced Tuesday they would open the Prairie Kitchen Store in April 2020 in the former cafe space, at 160 N. Linn St. in the city’s Northside Marketplace.

The Motley Cow Cafe closed in June 2017.

Previous plans called for a new steak and fish restaurant, Meat and Seafood Co., to open at the former cafe in spring 2018. A request for comment to its marketing company was not returned.

Store co-owner Susan Felker, an assistant dean for the undergraduate program in the University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business, said she and her family first began planning for their business around this past Christmas. The idea, she said, originated from the idea of the kitchen as a place of community.

“That’s where we all end up in someone’s house. Whether you’re at a party, or there at dinner, everyone ends up in the kitchen,” Felker said. “It’s the idea of taking that space and bringing it into a retail environment, having people come into the store, browse products and have an experience while they’re in there.”

Among the Prairie Kitchen Store’s planned offerings are global and American-made kitchen tools, serveware for entertaining and food items including craft beer, wine, coffee, tea and a small selection of bakery items, according to its website.


The store’s product lines “will prioritize great design as well as artisan craftsmanship and fair trade practices,” the site says.

The new business also says it will hold in-store events such as cooking demonstrations, author readings, live music and trivia nights.

The store’s aesthetic will include wood display tables, galvanized pipe shelving, reclaimed wood, brick accents and “eclectic and bright” colors,” Felker said in a Tuesday release.

In advance of its opening, the Prairie Kitchen Store will open a holiday pop-up shop Dec. 7 and 8 at women’s clothing store Textiles, 109 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City.

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