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Sazz settles into Clive’s ‘District 86’ bar crawl


Sazz bartender Heather Konichek pours her signature, wet and wild drink, the “Hurricane Heather.” “You name the martini, and we can make it,” she said.

Sazz is most commonly known for its vintage clothing line from the 1970s; there’s also Caffe Sazz, an authentic Turkish restaurant in the U.K.; a Sazz Coincatcher is a character in the role-playing game “World of Warcraft” — those who already knew that might also be aware of Jak Sazz, the alien character featured in “Star Wars.” And it’s also the newest bar in Clive.                 

If you ask the owner, Sazz is an affectionate adjective for “all things female” — sexy, funny, bright, boisterous and beautiful inside and out. And that’s why the new lounge is christened with the name, too. But it’s not just a ladies’ bar. It’s a 30-something kind of place on the cusp of club and dive — a transitional spot for night-lifers to kick it with a martini or beer at a fair price, or date-nighters to gaze adoringly into each other’s eyes between dinner and a movie.                 

“People have forgotten what a lounge is,” said sexy bartender Heather Konichek shaking up a martini for a guest at the bar. “A lounge is supposed to be a social meeting area. It’s neither a club or a bar, but it’s something in between. That’s what this place is. It’s a chill place to go for drinks and conversation,” or a game of pool, or perhaps a sly make-out session in the dark corner in the back at a candle-lit table.                 

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The former Gronau’s and G2 location briefly changed hands to become Hangar 86 in April of this year. But the only thing that remains from the “aviator” theme is the line of Three Olives Vodka bottles the bar still favors. The Robin-egg blue walls have been painted dark tones of burgundy and black reminiscent of the old Gronau’s days (minus the stripper pole).               

At happy hour, the air is filled with jazz music, and the drinks are cheap — not just reasonable. It’s perhaps the only bar in Clive that offers a pitcher of domestic beer for $5. But as the night picks up, so does the music and the mood, and Sazz is a servant to the live music scene, Konichek said.                 

“The owner loves music — all music — so we will have live local music of all genres in here,” Konichek said, starting with Final Mix Band which will be performing at the Sazz grand opening on Thursday, Dec. 6.                 

The grand opening will also feature free hors d’oeuvres, merchandise give-a-ways and drink specials from 8 p.m. to midnight. Konichek said she looks forward to a busy winter and spring, mixing drinks for the more than 50,000 “potential customers” that bustle up and down 86th Street daily. She said the owner is forging relationships with area bars in hopes to transform the Clive corridor into a popular bar crawl connecting Sazz to other neighboring bars via a free shuttle bus service. They’ve dubbed it “District 86” in hopes to compete on par with other bar districts such as West Glen and Court Avenue. CV


1871 86th St.
(515) 270-4535
Hours: 3 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Happy Hour: 4-7 p.m. every day
Capacity: about 100

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