Biz Buzz Monday: New Dyersville cafe aims to create place for families

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Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from the tri-state area. In addition to this development from Dyersville, Iowa, we will share other developments in Tuesday’s edition.

A new cafe in Dyersville aims to offer a place that both children and parents enjoy.

The Play Cafe opened June 24 at 224 Second Ave. NE, next to the restaurant Fuse. This is the second The Play Cafe location opened by Cedar Rapids resident Jen English, with the first opening in Marion, Iowa, a year ago.

“The main thing is we see a need for places for parents to relax,” English said. “The world is kind of intense right now, and toddlers are intense. A lot of parents, especially moms, need a place that they feel safe for their kids to go to and where parents feel they are not going to be judged for having kids being kids.”

English described The Play Cafe as having a “coffee shop vibe with a playground inside.” She noted that the café is not yet a full-service coffee shop, but snacks and drinks are available for purchase.

“We see a need for it, especially in rural Iowa, but we’re testing it out first,” she said. “…We’re trying to see what the communities are interested in before we go all in.

Children can play freely in the business, and English said it also hosts private events on weekends such as birthday parties and baby showers.

English said the decision to open the second The Play Cafe location in Dyersville came from a combination of the “beautiful” location available for the business, the need for more family establishments in the community and the amount of tourists that explore the town.

“My main hope really is just creating community and unity for families,” she said. “They say it takes a village to raise kids, then the village isn’t there when you need them. We’re really trying to create that for families.”

The Play Cafe is open 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday through Monday. The business can also be found online at and on Facebook.