Angela Winnike

The Iowa City Downtown District has elected its new nighttime mayor. By day, Angela Winnike works as chief of retail operations for Java House and Heirloom but by night, beginning next week, she'll serve as a nighttime culture guru and liaison between denizens of downtown and its destinations. Beginning April 27, she said she'll be spending her Thursday through Saturday nights downtown from 7 p.m. until about 2 a.m. "Cultivating what we have and helping to foster a really positive image of downtown Iowa City will be a big step in the right direction," she said. "I love introducing people who aren't from Iowa City to all of the things we have downtown and to the places with the great atmosphere they have."
A graduate of West High School and the University of Iowa, Winnike, 34, said she's no stranger to Iowa City. She's also no stranger to the Downtown District, having served on the organization's marketing board and board of directors before accepting her new title. Winnike said she aims to create a "cohesive community" that will foster downtown's nighttime culture and improve safety. "For safety reasons, there have been some eye-opening moments on the pedestrian mall, but I think creating a really cohesive community would be beneficial to everyone and could create a better stream of communication," she said. Though her first steps will be getting to know bar and business personnel better, Winnike said she's beginning to look for opportunities for new nighttime events. "I'd really like to encourage some retail night life. We don't have that downtown yet," she said. She said she's also looking forward to working with Iowa City's daytime mayor, Jim Throgmorton. "I hope there are things we can work together on changing to better the entire community," she said. Reach Andy Davis at 319-887-5404 or at, and follow him on Twitter as @BylineAndyDavis.