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Belly Up

Jan 19, 2012
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Grizzly dive transformed into new Patrick’s Depot

Brenda Nolin pours a “high-end pussy,” one of new owner Patrick Shannon’s inventions, made with Patron, Kinky Liqueur and Sprite, at the new Patrick’s Depot in Altoona.

By Amber Williams

Note to all you busted-knuckled, grease-, paint- or shit-stained blue-collar boys: Take your boots off at the door — literally. The new Patrick’s Depot in Altoona is far from what it’s been for the last 25 years when it was Anthony’s Lounge.

When long-time patron Patrick Shannon heard Anthony’s Lounge was up for grabs, his ears perked up and his eyes widened. Bellied up to the old, wooden bar, Shannon immediately envisioned a black, marble counter top beneath his drink; a sleek, tiled floor where the aged carpet ran wall-to-wall; and a fresh coat of paint to invoke a more contemporary club atmosphere to the old nicotine-stained walls.

“This place was a shithole,” Shannon asserted. “Everything was junk. The floor was ’80s ceramic tile and carpet; the bathrooms were small and smelly — they were only four-and-a-half-feet by five-foot with barn doors on them, and they weren’t handicap accessible. If you had to stop somewhere for a beer, it was OK, but it wasn’t real welcoming.”

It took all new materials, furniture, 70 gallons of paint and about four months of hard work to transform the old dive into “a more respectable kind of place,” he said — the kind of place where you leave your muddy boots at the door.

“I want people to treat this place like they treat their own house,” Shannon said. “This place is going to be Altoona’s hot spot — the No. 1 bar in town.” Number one, he says, based on specific criteria, and at the top of that list is cleanliness.

“We’re the cleanest bar in Altoona. Everybody comes in and drops their jaw at this place,” including the employees and owners of other bars in town, he said. And, he couldn’t care less if they’re offended by his criticisms or not.

“I hope it wakes them up. If they need to borrow a rag, so be it,” he jeered. “That’s one thing about me, I tell everyone the truth, and that’s the way it is.”

Along with the new freshness of the bar, Patrick’s Depot has a space carved out for pool, darts and dancing, live music every Saturday night guaranteed, plus professional karaoke and DJ nights and weekend drink specials that change from month to month (through January, a $15 wristband buys a bottomless cup of a domestic draft). With a dance floor that can compare to Miss Kitty’s in Clive, Shannon is confident Patrick’s Depot will not only draw the crowds but keep them coming back, making it a new destination spot for Altoona.

“This place is what it is: It’s a nice, friendly, good-looking place,” he said. “It’s all about having fun. I try to treat this place as if I’m the customer on the other side. It’s all about the people it’s all about the customer, and it’s all about happiness in the customer — if he doesn’t have it, we’ll put it in him.” CV

Patrick’s Depot

805 17th Ave. S.W.


Hours: 3 p.m.-2 a.m. every day

Happy Hour: 3-7 p.m., Mon.-Fri.

Capacity: 200

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