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Ladies night out

3/6/2013

Kristin O’Meara, Melissa Landis, Amanda Swank, Amberly Allsup and Alyssa Clausen enjoy a night out to see Bonne Finken and the Collective perform at Raccoon River Brewing Company on Saturday, March 2.

Kristin O’Meara, Melissa Landis, Amanda Swank, Amberly Allsup and Alyssa Clausen enjoy a night out to see Bonne Finken and the Collective perform at Raccoon River Brewing Company on Saturday, March 2.

Last Saturday was girls’ night out. What better way to spend a night out downtown with your favorite ladies than at Raccoon River Brewing Company at a free Bonne Finken show? Nothing could be more pure girl power than catching Bonne unplugged. You can’t take her picture. Although the band members to her right and to her left on stage each know how to rock just as much as the next, it’s Bonne that has the kind of groove that’s impossible to capture with a mere camera. It’s a moment that can only be properly recorded by the mind, and last Saturday night was a night for memories.

The old brew pub is one of downtown Des Moines’ best kept secrets. It’s stood on the corner of Mulberry and 10th for so long, its novelty has waned, the hype has long subsided, and yet on any given Saturday night, it’s two stories of life and energy that rattles the air from the windows to the walls.

Of course, there’s beer. Brewed in-house in the hub of the restaurant/lounge, the brewing staff works like mad scientists creating Vanilla Cream Ale, Bandit IPA, Lakeside Wheat or one of the other beer varieties found among a list of eight on the menu. By the end of the evening, the girls had some of the finest crafts spilt down the front of their dresses, but nobody cared. It was that kind of night.

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Front and center sat a table full of typical young ladies — a secretary, a new mother, a waitress by day — but that night they were wild, they were free, and Bonne Finken gave full blessings.

RRBC was the prime place for finding excitement in an unplanned evening. Greetings at the door let you know you’re welcome to settle easily into a table or booth and begin sampling the menu — both food and drink. By eight o’clock or so, band equipment starts to appear on the stage in the corner. By 9 the music begins.

Last Saturday, the ladies chose a long table right under Finken’s nose while others took in the acoustics from the second-story pool hall. Quarantined to a floor all their own, several pool tables fill a spacious room, away from the inconvenience of others there to dine. And a second-story bar caters to a buzzing crowd.

It’s not a big deal. There’s no gimmick or theme. It’s not a dance club or even a concert hall, but Raccoon River Brewing Company has everything anybody would look for in one night out with friends. It’s a comfortable mesh of classy and casual, as the no-dress-code red carpet leads guests to a night of memories that a mere photograph will never do justice. CV

Raccoon River Brewing Company
200 10th St.
515-362-5222
www.raccoonbrew.com
Hours: Mon.-Thurs. 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Fri., Sat. 11 a.m.-2 a.m.
Kitchen: Mon.-Thurs. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri., Sat. 11 a.m.-1 a.m.
Entertainment: Free live music 9 p.m.-12:30 a.m. weekly ; Free pool from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturdays
Capacity: 100+ (available for event bookings)
 
 

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