See a Penny, Pick it Up …

By Alyssa Vicente


Hiawatha has gained a new restaurant, and a little bit of “Luck,” too.

Lucky Penny, 1705 Boyson Road, opened its doors July 7, and offers the Hiawatha community an eatery that is “casual, but upscale.”

Owner, Graig Cone, is a man of many talents. In addition to Lucky Penny, Graig Cone owns Conveyor Engineering, is an an entreprenaur (he co-owns several restaurants in Cedar Rapids), and a real estate developer.

His first leap into the restaurant business began with the Black Sheep Social Club, a restaurant in downtown Cedar Rapids, sparking an interest to open Lucky Penny in the Hiawatha area.

General Manager, Mitchell Springmann, has been in the restaurant business for 20 years. While he is skilled in all areas, he said he is most passionate about bartending.

“I really enjoy being the better part of someone’s day and I always attempt to make people feel as comfortable and as welcome as I can at any establishment I work at,” said Springmann.

Lucky Penny’s menu features a variety of delicious appetizers, soups and salads, wood-fired pizzas, and several entrees to choose from. According to Springmann, the restaurant focuses on serving regional favorites and using fresh, local ingredients whenever possible. In addition to the impressive food menu, Lucky Penny is equipped with a knockout beer and cocktail menu.

“Our cocktail menu is made with all fresh-squeezed juices in-house and features seasonal selections created by our bartenders and a rotating menu of lesser known but fantastic tasting classics. We also feature 12 draft beers and 50+ bottles,” said Springmann.

Lucky Penny’s “Happy Hour” is from 3 to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. They also feature a changing soup, grilled cheese, and bratwurst special every day.

Springmann said they plan to be open on Sundays in the fall, perfect for football fans looking for a place to enjoy a beer and watch the game.

“We are possibly looking at getting OnIowa to do their Iowa Football broadcast from here,” say Springmann.

Springmann said they decided on Hiawatha for Lucky Penny because they thought it was a great place to “build a better future, raise a family, and to enjoy the simple things in life.”

“We really just wanted to open a place that people from the surrounding neighborhoods would feel welcome coming into for lunch or dinner and grab a bite to eat, catch a game, or have a drink and relax with their friends and family.”

Springmann said they are looking to adapt to the needs of the community and always open to suggestions or comments, which fits right in with their mission, “to provide the locals with a comfortable place to gather and enjoy each other’s company.”

For more information, visit their website and Like them on Facebook, and check out their website at

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American Pickers Coming to Eastern Iowa

Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz, and their team are excited to return to Iowa!

They plan to film episodes of the hit series American Pickers throughout the region this summer.

American Pickers is a documentary series that explores the fascinating world of antique ‘picking’ on History.

The hit show follows Mike and Frank, two of the most skilled pickers in the business, as they hunt for America’s most valuable antiques.

They are always excited to find sizeable, unique collections and learn the interesting stories behind them.

As they hit the back roads from coast to coast, Mike and Frank are on a mission to recycle and rescue forgotten relics.

Along the way, the Pickers want to meet characters with remarkable and exceptional items.

The pair hopes to give historically significant objects a new lease on life, while learning a thing or two about America’s past along the way.

Mike and Frank have seen a lot of rusty gold over the years and are always looking to discover something they’ve never seen before. They are ready to find extraordinary items and hear fascinating tales about them.

American Pickers is looking for leads and would love to explore your hidden treasure.

If you or someone you know has a large, private collection or accumulation of antiques that the Pickers can spend the better part of the day looking through, send us your name, phone number, location and description of the collection, with photos, to:, or call 855-old-rust.

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Hiawatha Offers a Summer of Fun

Can you believe it’s already halfway through summer? The time is flying by,  but Hiawatha still has so many fun activities planned!

Hiawatha Library

There are activities for every age group at the Hiawatha Library, 150 W. Willman St! Here are a few highlights:

The Hiawatha Library invites all students going into 6th all the way to 12th grade to read, “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,” and then come see the movie with us July 19 beginning at 1 pm. Snacks will be provided. There will be a discussion on the differences between the book and the movie afterwards.

Calling all Middle Schoolers! Those going into the 6th, 7th, or 8th grade, can attend the Middle School Makers at Hiawatha Library July 12 from 12-1:30 pm. We’ll have fun making crafts and eating pizza!

All ages are welcome to meet Fire Chief Mike and his friends on Thursday, July 14, at 12 pm. They will share stories and fire safety tips. Families are encouraged to bring a sack lunch and a blanket to sit on. And of course, don’t forget your camera for firetruck photo opportunities.

Magician Rick Eugene returns to the Hiawatha Public Library Monday, July 25, at 1 pm. Be prepared to be dazzled with his amazing tricks! Space is limited.

Come by the Hiawatha Public Library for our big end of the year celebration Saturday, July 30 at 11:30 am-2 pm! There will be games for kids such as t-ball, football, and tennis on the lawn. There will of course delicious food, and Darrin Crow will mesmerize us with various stories called, “Races into Summer Reading.”

All of these activities and others are free of charge! Visit the Hiawatha website for more information 

Hiawatha Parks & Recreation

Hiawatha Farmers Markets: Hiawatha now has two farmers markets that provide a variety of fresh produce, bakery, and other items.

The weekly farmers market is held every Sunday in the 10th Avenue parking lot in Guthridge Park from 11 am to 2 pm.

The weekday market is held the second and fourth Wednesday of the month from 4-6 pm in the city hall parking lot, 101 Emmons Street.

Movie Under the Moon: Hiawatha Parks and Recreation along with the Friends of Hiawatha Parks and Recreation Foundation are featuring 2 outdoor movies located in Guthridge Park, July 15 and Aug. 26, in Brown Pavilion.

Relax and enjoy a night with family and friends. The movies begin at dusk (around 8:30 pm) and free popcorn will be available, courtesy of the Hiawatha Friends Foundation. Bring your blankets, chairs and coolers and enjoy a movie under the moon!



Summer Concert Series: Beginning Aug. 5 at 6 pm, and every  Friday night in August, enjoy the beautiful sounds of a variety of local bands! Hi-Crew Kiwanis will be on hand for those who would like to purchase snacks. Blankets, chairs, and coolers are welcome! 

The concerts are sponsored by the University of Iowa Community Credit Union. 

Due to the Iowa Smoke Free Air Act, smoking is prohibited during Concerts in the Park.

Touch a Truck: Come to Guthridge Park before the concert Aug. 5 (4-6 pm) and have fun with trucks!

This community event provides families with the opportunity to learn about and explore trucks, construction vehicles, and public safety equipment that they know and love! Kids of all ages will climb, run around, sit in and even honk horns of many types of trucks and vehicles!

Bring a non perishable food donation to help support HACAP.

HIBRAI: Mark your Calendar for HIBRAI, Hiawatha’s Bike Ride Across Iowa, Aug. 13-14!

Join other bicycle enthusiasts on a bike ride to Riverside Casino & Golf Resort, where you will enjoy a fun and relaxing evening, before riding back to Hiawatha the next day. The price of registration is $79.95, plus a $45 registration fee ($60 after August 5).

Register at or mail in payment to: Friends of Hiawatha, 101 Emmons Street, Hiawatha, Iowa 52233.

4th Annual Hiawatha Police K9 Unit Golf Outing: Have fun and help out a great cause while you’re at it! The Hiawatha Police Department is holding their 4th Annual Golf Tournament  Aug. 14 at 1 pm, at Hunters Ridge Golf Course in Marion.

The registration fee of $85 for a 4-person team includes entrance fee, dinner, and a demonstration of the department’s K9 Unit.

Hiawatha FunFest: Hiawatha’s answer to F-U-N! This new annual festival will begin Aug. 26 with a concert at 6 pm in Guthridge Park, followed by a Movie under the Moon at Brown Pavilion. The fun continues the next morning with a 5K run/walk, followed by a parade, and activities for all ages, including inflatable’s, food, live music, and fireworks. It will be a weekend filled with fun activities!

For more information visit Hiawatha’s website at











Hiawatha State of the City Luncheon to be Held July 21

Plan to attend the annual Hiawatha Economic Development Corporation (HEDCO) State of the City Luncheon July 21 at Kirkwood Linn County Regional Center on Boyson Road, from 11:30 am to 1 pm.

Mayor Bill Bennett will talk about the current state of the city of Hiawatha after a welcome by HEDCO chair, Jon Dusek.

The keynote speaker, Paul Trombino, director of the Iowa Department of Transportation, will discuss IDOT’s role in the Hiawatha transportation infastructure.

Doors open at 11:15, with the luncheon served at 11:30.

Tickets are $40 and can be purchased by going to

HEDCO is comprised of members of the Hiawatha community, who are advocates for local businesses, as well as those looking to move their business to Hiawatha, Iowa.

HEDCO’s mission is to help cultivate economic growth in Hiawatha by building partnerships with public and private organizations in the area.

Coffee with the City Council

It might be a little too steamy for the traditional cup of coffee, but you can still attend the Hiawatha weekday farmers market Wednesday, July 27, from 4 to 6 pm, and talk to members of the Hiawatha City Council.

The weekday farmers market was established this summer to complement the farmers market that is held every Sunday from 11 am to 2 pm in the Guthridge Park parking lot on 10th Avenue.

The weekday market is held the second and fourth Wednesday of the month in the Hiawatha City Hall parking lot, 101 Emmons Street.

Members of the City Council will be on hand to answer questions or discuss anything that is on your mind.

For more information, visit


Construction Continues in Hiawatha

Hiawatha has contracted with Shive Hattery Engineers and Architects to prepare plans and specifications for the North Center Point Road/Emmons Street/Robins Road Intersection project.

The contractor, Ricklefs Excavating of Anamosa, started work on the Phase I contract. This contract also provides for the extension of “A” Avenue and utility relocations on North Center Point Road.

New water mains and sanitary sewers will be installed along with the new franchise utility trench construction. This will allow all the overhead power lines to be removed and installed underground.

The project is scheduled to be completed sometime in August.

Lanes will be closed on North Center Point Road, as well as part-time road closures on Emmons Street and Robins Road.  Detours will be established and signed to direct traffic.

Hiawatha and the Chicago Central and Pacific Railroad have approved an agreement to replace the existing railroad crossing on Robins Road.

The Chicago Central and Pacific Railroad will do the work, as well as share the cost for the project, estimated to be approximately $50,000.

The work is proposed to take place in late July early August. This will require the closing of Robins Road north of Boyson Road for approximately two weeks. Detours will be established north of Tower Terrace Road and North Center Point Road.

For questions or more information, contact the Hiawatha Engineering Department at 319-393-1515 or at

(information courtesy of