Wild Bill's Coffeeshop is a service learning project in the School of Social Work at the University of Iowa. The Coffeeshop is operated by adult persons with disabilities, thus providing
Mon.-Thurs. 8 am -9 pm, during the academic year. Closed Friday-Sunday and for University breaks and holidays.
April 13, 2013 marks the 100th year of Bill's birth. To celebrate we are holding several events and activities during April 8-13. Commemorative coffee mugs (16 oz.) are now for sale at Wild Bill's and Uptown Bill's for only $15. Picture is on both sides.
We are now accepting applications for volunteers for Spring 2013.. Please contact Connor Spinks to arrange for an orientation session. You can volunteer for 2-6 hours each week of the semester. Please read the manual below before your orientation session.
Wild Bill's Coffeeshop address is 321 North Hall, Iowa City, IA 52242. The phone number is 335-1281.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or Jefri Palermo, 319-335-3750, email@example.com
In his book, The Unlikely Celebrity, Thomas Walz tells the story of Bill Sackter, a man who spent 44 years in a Minnesota mental institution and emerged to blossom into a most unlikely celebrity.
Some years after his discharge from Fairbault State Hospital as a result of the movement to deinstitutionalize the mentally ill in the 1960's, Bill enjoyed a serendipitous encounter with a young college student and part-time musician, Barry Morrow.
When Morrow accepted a job at the School of Social Work at the University of Iowa, Bill followed him to Iowa City and was put in charge of a small coffee service. A cheerful man of great good will who was a harmonica virtuoso, Bill began to inspire affectionate legends, and his life as a celebrity began in earnest. He was named 'Iowa's Handicapped Person of the Year' in 1977.
Excerpted from the back cover of The Unlikely Celebrity.
The Coffeeshop was made famous when its first proprietor, Bill Sackter, was featured in a television movie and a sequel about his life. The first movie, which won Emmy awards for co-writer Barry Morrow and actor Mickey Rooney (as Bill), was called Bill (1981) ; the sequel was entitled Bill on His Own (1983).
Years later, Morrow would win an Oscar for his script of Rain Man.
Picture courtesy of Bill's Coffeeshop
Since Bill's death in 1983, the Coffeeshop has expanded. It was remodeled in 2009 and now employs 12-14 persons with disabilities.
In 2008, Iowa Citian Lane Wyrick made a documentary about the real life of Bill Sackter, called A Friend Indeed-The Bill Sackter Story. The movie has won numerous awards. Now you can watch the video for free on You Tube or at http://www.billsackter.com/Bills_Homepage.html
We're always on the lookout for for performers - especially students, who would like to share their talents at Wild Bill's. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday nights from 7-9 pm are available for live music, theatre, poetry art projects and other special events.
The coffee shop is also available for use by student groups for meetings or conferences. It seats a maximum of 49 people.
The shop also has a kitchen with coffeemaker, microwave, small convection/toaster oven, hot plate, dishes etc. for use.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for a reservation.
Help sustain Wild Bill's for years to come by making a donation through the UI Foundation. Donations of $200 or more allow you to create a commemorative tile that will be permanently attached to the coffeeshop wall. Click here for more information.