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Belly Up

Get your day-buzz on at West End Salvage

2/27/2013

Joe Davis likes to joke around serving customers behind the coffee and spirits bar at West End Architectural Salvage.

Joe Davis likes to joke around serving customers behind the coffee and spirits bar at West End Architectural Salvage.

Combining two of peoples’ favorite things to do, drinking and shopping, West End Salvage offers its patrons a non-traditional bar scene that’s easily missed unless you’re in on the secret.

At first glance, it doesn’t look like your typical bar. That’s because it isn’t. West End Salvage began as an endless garage sale that owner Don Short decided to take indoors year-round. Eventually it moved to its current location downtown. Two years ago, alcohol became one of its many offerings, and beer and wine were tucked in behind what the untrained eye would think is merely a coffee counter.

“What makes West End Salvage actually more unique than a lot of places is that we are a retail business, open seven days a week,” said Joe Davis, West End Salvage employee. “Not only can you come in here and shop around, but you can take your drink with you. So if you want to enjoy your shopping experience over a glass of good wine, you can do that here.”                

So guys can crack open a cold beer while their wives take them on a unique shopping experience that involves a four-story adventure rummaging through salvaged materials and goods. But don’t worry about maneuvering back to the main floor for another round, because the whole staff plays the bartender role. Whether it’s one of the guys in the basement who grabs two Bud Lights (one for himself, of course), or the coffee girl who will pour you two glasses of Chardonnay before you head upstairs, everyone is there to serve you.                

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“During the day it’s not so much about the bartenders we have here, but I’m more curious about the people coming in to drink,” Davis teased. “If they’re drinking during the day, they’re up to no good.”                

The staff serves up equal doses of smartass sarcasm with every bottle and glass they hand over, so have those come-backs ready.                

“It’s not a bar to come hang out at after five o’ clock like those bars on Court Avenue and Ingersoll,” Davis admits.                

No, it’s a tad more mellow than that. There’s a no-fuss selection of alcohol that’s kept simple, featuring eight wine varieties, an array of domestic beers and all the classic liquors.                

But day drinkers and shoppers alike come to West End to sip on something good while they wander through floor after floor of other people’s junk they’re looking to make their own. From creepy, old doll heads and claw foot tubs to rows of mirrors and windows and antique wood furniture waiting to be customized, shoppers will have plenty of things to stare at as they get their day-buzz on. CV

West End Architectural Salvage
22 Ninth St. (515) 243-4405
HOURS: Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.;
Sat. 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Sun. noon – 4 p.m.
CAPACITY: 653

 

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