Local businesses experience ups, downs with Hawkeye name - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Local businesses experience ups, downs with Hawkeye name

IOWA CITY (KWWL) - For many businesses near the University of Iowa, the Hawkeye logo is as good as a dollar sign.

Black and gold is a popular color combination around here, and the Hawkeye name can be an eye-catcher when it comes to business. But in some cases, it can backfire.

Jeff Waite, owner of Hawkeye Sewer & Drain has been doing plumbing for almost two decades, and he's been a Hawkeye fan even longer. "Whether we're winning or whether we're losing, I'm still from here."

That's why he chose to put 'Hawkeye' in his business name. And he's not alone.

Just take a look at an Iowa City and Coralville phone book for proof. There's almost an entire page dedicated to stores, shops, and services bearing 'Hawkeye' in their names. Waite says having that word in his business title brings him more customers, because it's undeniably Iowan.

"I just wanted to name my company something that I know people would identify as local," said Waite. He didn't stop there; he went ahead and adopted the catchy color scheme for his van.

But not everyone has had a great experience with harboring the Hawkeye name. Take Kevin Grimm, managing owner of the Hawkeye Hideaway bar. It's currently in a legal battle with the University of Iowa, over two things: "The name 'Hawkeye,' and the colors we use," said Grimm.

He says the university says the bar's name and color scheme infringes on its traderights. Grimm never thought it would be a problem.

"We figured just get mixed into the jumble, you know?"

The Hideaway has sent a rebuttal letter to the university. In the meantime, Grimm says it's business as usual. "Hopefully we have a good season, and everyone comes out and supports the Hawks."

There's also a Hawkeye Ice Company, a business called Hawkeye Waste Systems, and even Hawkeye Bail Bonds.

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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