Daytime Diner: New retro-themed Ames café serves luxury coffee


Mackenzie Bodell/Iowa State Daily

Daytime Diner, a locally-owned café serving beverages and pastries, opened in Ames in October.

Mackenzie Bodell

The newly opened Daytime Diner focuses on creating quality, luxury coffee in an approachable atmosphere.

Ashley Wood-Rivera runs Daytime Diner with her husband. The pair are from New York City, where they previously owned three other coffee shops.

“We do coffee at a really high level out there,” Wood-Rivera said. “That’s just really what we focus on. We don’t offer any food or anything; we just have pastries. So when we came back to Ames, we wanted to share our love of coffee with the community.”

Daytime Diner opened in October, with the hiring and building process starting in August.

Daytime Diner’s menu consists of pour-overs, cold brews, espresso drinks, cocktails, beer and wine. According to Wood-Rivera, every drink is handcrafted to be of the highest quality possible.

“We think quality foods and drinks should be presented in an approachable way,” Wood-Rivera said.

Next to the register is a cooler with wines, non-alcoholic beers and other specialty sodas.

In the kitchen, the staff bakes homemade sourdough bread. Out on the coffee bar, each cup of coffee is brewed cup by cup in a pour-over fashion.

“I know whenever I bring it out, we’ve been working on this behind the scenes for a long time to make sure that cup of coffee or that shot of espresso is as good as it can be,” said full-time employee Justin Rowe.

The interior of Daytime Diner is decorated to resemble a retro ’70s diner. Customers are welcomed by emerald green seating, pink walls and gold light fixtures inside.

“What attracts me is the aesthetic of the diner, watching the sunrise in the morning, watching the light pour in on the space is so beautiful,” said part-time employee Emma Finch.

According to the owners, connecting with the community through coffee has been part of the fun of opening the diner.

“Coffee’s really special,” Wood-Rivera said. “It connects people in so many different ways.”

Customers find Daytime Diner to be a social space to catch up with friends, work on homework and get a cup of coffee.

Daytime Diner is located at 127 Dotson Drive. The diner is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.