Mars Cafe reopens Saturday
As one of the first merchants using Dwolla's payment network, Mars Cafe was the venue for the startup's national launch party in 2010.
The reopening of a coffee shop isn't something you expect to read about on Silicon Prairie News, but today we've made an exception: Mars Cafe is back.
The coffee shop located near Drake University was a favorite among Des Moines' creative class from the time it opened in 2006 until it closed last month. A group of Mars regulars purchased the establishment a few weeks ago and have scheduled its grand reopening Saturday.
Mars has played a role in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. It's been one of those serendipitous meeting places where you could easily plug into the scene. It's also played host to a number of meetups and launch parties.
Perhaps most famously, it was the location of Dwolla's national launch party in December 2010. That event, with its over-capacity crowd and free "I Dwolla in DSM" T-shirts, opened many eyes in the Silicon Prairie to what the payments startup was building and it was a preview of the tremendous fanatical following the company enjoys today.
Less famously, it's also the site where three guys from Omaha and one from Des Moines decided to make a big gamble on turning Silicon Prairie News the blog into Silicon Prairie News the digital media startup. It was late 2010, Danny Schreiber was SPN's lone employee and the rest of us were enthusiastic volunteers each working on something else full-time. Jeff Slobotski, Dusty Davidson, Danny and I met at Mars and ultimately made the decision to take the risk. Jeff and I joined the team full-time a few weeks later.
Mars has been a part of this startup community's story, a part of the our company's story, and beginning tomorrow, it begins a new chapter in its own story. Mars reopens at 7:30 a.m.