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Belly Up

September 27, 2012
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Chicken Coop thrives in new Urbandale location

Britney Murray pours a tall glass of Thunderhead Brewing Company’s finest, the Golden Frau, a favorite at The Chicken Coop.

By Rebecca Bowen

Thunderhead beer came into this world in very much the same way as the idea for the establishment that touts it — from Nebraska.

The Chicken Coop originally hatched out of Kearney, Neb., and its second location came to West Des Moines in 2005. The third opened in Urbandale in April, where “The Coop,” has already cemented its name as a favorite in the area.

“My wife, Dawn, and I wanted to get out of a corporate chain in Minneapolis,” said Ken Beister, co-owner and manager. “It got to a point where there was no room for advancement. With Collin (Nabity), my friend from college, already owning The Chicken Coop in Kearney, it seemed like a good opportunity to move forward.

“We had to adjust our menu because one thing we learned working at a chain is that food is regional — what people like in Kearney doesn’t necessarily mean people in a health-conscious city such as Des Moines will,” he added.

So the famous sports bar staple, The Chicken Coop wings, are flame-broiled rather than deep fat fried and come with 15 different sauce choices — a guilty pleasure which is almost sans the guilt, as they’re just about as body-conscious as it gets on a menu full of traditional bar favorites.

The difference in crowds has brought new favorites to the top of the menu in Urbandale. One of the favorites that has popped up at the Urbandale Coop is the Rotten Apple bomb, a tastier-than-it-sounds blend of Guinness with Angry Orchard cider beer.

“This new location gets a lot of patronage from businesses over lunch and more families in the evening. This isn’t necessarily the same crowd as West Des Moines,” said Beister.

As a result, the Urbandale Coop closes at midnight during the week, compared to West Des Moines, which stays open till 2 a.m. to cater to a more late-night crowd.

Both settings are the only two places in the Des Moines area offering Thunderhead beer, including: the Honey Wheat Golden Frau, which is in good company with The Coop’s most unique nectar on the list, the Peach Wheat; contrasting well with the dark Corn Stalker; a double IPA coined the Crop Duster; and Leatherhead Red, which is good to drink — and eat, as it’s also used as a fitting ingredient in some of The Coop’s homemade dishes, such as the favored Drunken Italian pizza.

It’s a toss-up to find the best reason to stop in to The Coop, whether you’re drawn to its one-of-a-kind beers, the handcrafted menu or to watch the big game on one of its million or so flat screen TVs.

“We’re still planning on growing and expanding. One of our hopes is to add a patio here in Urbandale,” Beister said. “Our biggest goal is to have two or three more locations in the metro over time.” CV

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The Chicken Coop Sports Bar and Grill

12725 Meredith Drive

(515) 334.2667

www.thechickencoopsportsbar.com

HOURS: Sun. – Thurs. 11 a.m. – 12 a.m.; Fri., Sat. 11 a.m. – 2 a.m.

HAPPY HOUR: 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.

KITCHEN: Sun. – Thurs. 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Fri., Sat. 11 a.m. – 12 a.m.

CAPACITY: 168



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