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Belly Up

July 19, 2012
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Express yourself at GoodSons

Along with entertaining stories delivered in a charming southern drawl, bartender Chris “Tennessee” Hubbard serves a lady’s favorite, the Melon Revolution martini, at GoodSons.

By Amber Williams

It starts in the bathroom on a stall door or wall, then it moves to the mirrors over the sink. Next thing you know there’s graffiti on the wall outside the bathroom, where a patron doing the pee-pee dance had attempted to wait patiently by writing her name in three-dimensional cursive. Bar owners constantly battle with drunken graffiti. Some embrace it by allowing it, and calling it décor. But even then, when the overlapping artwork starts to look unbecoming, the bar owner must spring for a few gallons of paint to clear the canvas and start anew.

But at GoodSons, they’ve figured out something genius in the way of accepting, and even appreciating, the artist in us all — chalk. It’s cheap, and it’s erasable.

Patrons can claim their spots at the bar by writing their names on it, parents can let their kids draw all over the table or wall while they wait for their pizza and artists can release their pent-up expressions with a mural that says it all.

“A lot of people come in here and spend hours — all day sometimes — decorating the tables and all over the bar. They spend hours and hours,” said bartender Chris “Tennessee” Hubbard in a sexy southern drawl. “We get a real mixed bag of young and old in here.”

It’s true. Even on a so-called “dead” Tuesday afternoon, the walls are lined with people of all colors and styles, including a local youth pastor, a spandex-clad cyclist and a dread-head with blown out earlobe holes.

“We get a lot of cyclists,” a loyal patron chimed in, pointing out the bicycle lane that runs down Beaver Avenue. He went on to talk about how much he loves to ride, how much he misses Beaverdale’s old A.K. O’Connors and how much he despises the notion that Beaverdale might someday compare to West Des Moines shopping districts.

But it’s true the neighborhood has much to offer, and you can see it all from the bar, tables or patio of GoodSons, as it overlooks the bustling Beaverdale. The bar sees an influx of eclectic crowds following Tuesday’s farmers’ market down the street, the annual Beaverdale Festival and the bar’s annual Beaver Fever party, which lends itself to too many jokes for this story. You can hear them while bellying up to the bar, as some of the ornery regulars exchange dirty jokes and laugh at Tennessee Chris’ silly southern expressions that make for good storytelling (such as the time he was “madder than a midget with a yo-yo”).

“I like this place, because they run off the grumps,” bellowed a goofy-looking guy wearing a camou cap and orange-rimmed glasses. “When grumpy people come in here, everybody’s having a good time, and they can’t stand it. And I love it, because I can’t stand grumps.” CV



2815 Beaver Ave., Suite 102

(515) 255-1912

Hours: Mon., 3 p.m.-2 a.m.; Tues.-Sun., 11 a.m.-2 a.m.

Kitchen: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. during the week; 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Fri.-Sun.

Happy Hour: 11 a.m.-6 p.m., seven days a week

Capacity: 83

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Big Green Umbrella Media, Inc. • 414 61st Street • Des Moines, Iowa 50312 • 515-953-4822 • 515.953.1394 (fax)
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