Iowa City’s first plant bar opening soon


HR King
May 29, 2001
Iowa City’s first plant bar is putting its roots down at the former space of Van B’s Brew.

The new plant bar, which appears to be only the second one in Iowa after Pots & Shots opened in West Des Moines, plans to open at 505 E. Washington St., Unit 1842, at the end of August.

The space will feature lush greens ushering in a relaxing aura complemented by Iowa beers, kombucha, ciders, plant-themed cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages like herbaceous or fruity slushies. Owner Emily Salmonsen has been working the past few months to renovate the space, which has been vacant since April 2020.


With 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry as a bartender, server, barista and more, the new plant bar is Salmonsen’s first time owning a business. You may recognize her from FilmScene, which she helped get off the ground in 2013.

The plant bar, featuring ample patio space and large windows, will offer a cafe-like environment with both daytime and evening hours.

“I wanted a place where you could have a cafe (experience), but get a glass of wine or a cocktail. People are craving that reintroduction into the community and having a fun, comfortable place to be,” Salmonsen said. “And I love plants. ... They create oxygen, they’re very calming.”



HR Legend
Gold Member
Nov 13, 2007
Whenever I played The Sims when I was a kid, I'd always litter the house with plants because my Sim would get anxious about not having a "Home" feeling. Never watered the F'ers though.