The Mill Restaurant

The Mill Restaurant


A casual eatery with a mix of American & Italian fare, plus a bar, patio seating & frequent music, the Mill Restaurant is a classic Iowa City establishment in downtown.


DeWitt Henry on James McPherson as a teacher

During my first term at Iowa in 1982, I enrolled in Jim McPherson’s fiction writing workshop. […]

After class ended at 6pm, all of us, except for Jim, would congregate at the Green Mill for dinner and drinks. Of course we would have loved for Jim to join us, but he seemed too brilliant for us, too much in pain to bear company. Just as class was drawing to a close during the fourth week of the term, Jim looked anxiously around the table and then asked me if I wanted to go get a drink with him. It was like being asked out on a date in front of fifteen other people. Of course I said yes.

Henry, DeWitt. “About James Alan McPherson.” Ploughshares at Emerson College. Emerson College in Boston, 2008. Web. 21 May 2016.


Jane Smiley: The Mill

When I met Steve, he was getting his BA in the art department, and was singing at the Mill with various partners. As I had spent college going to basketball games, so I spent most of my time in Iowa City in a booth at the Mill, listening to Steve or our friends play on the stage. He had a set of friends, too, not Workshoppers, but native Iowa Citians – a motorcycle club, fellow cooks and bartenders at the Mill, an art student or two, girls he dated and slept with, relatives. People from most of our friend groups lived with us off and on the whole time we rented the American Legion Road house. We also had cats and a Great Dane.


Smiley, Jane. “Iowa City Days,” The Writing University website


Juan Philipe Herrera at the Mill

This was in ’88. I loved it [the workshop]. It was amazing. I loved the city, I loved the houses, I loved the people, I loved the students and I loved the workshops and my professors. They all were very different. I loved the [group] of students that I got to know. It was just fun. After the workshop, we’d go have a brew at the Mill, which the poets owned.

Keckeisen, Kevin. “Interview with Juan Felipe Herrera.” The Highlander. Accessed 28 Sept 2016.

Literary Reference

T.C. Boyle & Raymond Carver at the Mill

Ray Carver had been living in town a few years earlier, in the Cheever days (they drank together at the Mill, and I’ll never know why the local historical society hasn’t affixed little brass markers to the stools they perched themselves on during those long hard hours of draining glasses and lighting cigarettes)…

T.C. Boyle, ‘This Monkey, My Back’