I'm so glad that Bill's has been reviewed already! I'm a little biased as I was an Americorps VISTA volunteer there for a year when it was first opening. This is a miraculous one-of-a-kind magical place.
Tom Walz, who runs Bill's on the executive salary of $1/year, is the former head of the University of Iowa School of Social Work and his background enables him to be a guiding force for this series of small businesses owned and operated by individuals with disabilities. He is also a master storyteller so, if you are lucky enough to run into him at Bill's, he will have much to share with you. He is also a living saint, in my opinion.
You will not find a better used bookstore anywhere in Iowa City and the soda fountain that was once at Pearson's now lives at Uptown Bill's. This place is more than a coffee shop, more than a bookstore, more than a "business", it is a community center. Every week there are performances by talented musicians, free movie nights, and community meetings. The most important element to mention is that Uptown Bill's was created to carry on the work of Bill Sackter, a man with developmental delays who inspired so many people in the Iowa City community and beyond. An award-winning movie about his life was made in the late 80s starring Mickey Rooney and Dennis Quaid.
Now that we live in Coralville, I don't spend nearly enough time at Bill's. I must get back there again soon.