Iconic Iowa City restaurant plans massive expansion - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iconic Iowa City restaurant plans massive expansion

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Hamburg Inn No. 2 is a big name in Iowa City, the diner has been serving the masses along North Linn Street since the 1930's. 

It's played host to some big names on the campaign trail including former presidents Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. 

Hamburg Inn No. 2 Owner Michael Lee has a big vision, a goal of more than 1,000 restaurants by 2020. 

 "There are so many things I have taken from the University, from Iowa City, from the state of Iowa, I think it's time for me to give it back," Lee says. 

Lee plans to expand across the country and globally starting with China. 

Abroad the restaurants will be called America President's Diner.
"I wanted them to have a good and a  truthful picture about American presidents that live just like everybody," Lee told us. 

Each Hamburg Inn will be unique to itself, some will be called Hamburg Inn Express which will be a faster and less sit down option, others will offer alcohol. 

Despite the expansion we are told the "mother restaurant" in Iowa City will remain the same. 

"The plan is regardless of where we expand and where else we open up that this location remain the same. That you know what has kept us going for so long will remain the same," says Seth Dudley, General Manager at Hamburg Inn No. 2. 

The expansion will start in Iowa City with a Hamburg Express location opening on the East side come May. 

Lee plans to have around thirty restaurants in Iowa alone within the next two years, here is a full list of the planned locations:

Iowa City


Cedar Rapids

Des Moines



North Liberty




Cedar Falls






Mason City

Fort Dodge




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