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Belly Up To...

If the cliché fits: ‘The Real McCoy’ is a Grimes Bar and Grill


People of all sorts, from blue collar guys like these to business suits and soccer moms, belly up at McCoy’s Bar and Grill.

People of all sorts, from blue collar guys like these to business suits and soccer moms, belly up at McCoy’s Bar and Grill.

Anyone who knows the city streets only as far as they’ve had to navigate from the interstate to their job is probably unaware that a decade ago the McCoy family once ran a pool hall in Beaverdale. Even fewer people likely know that when McCoy’s closed in that location, the family-owned establishment opened in a commercial development in Grimes, hidden in the peripheral of everyday commuters. It’s too bad, too. Because if the people passing by in a bumper-to-bumper blur along Highway 141 are missing McCoy’s Bar and Grill, then they’re missing out.

“How’d you even hear about us?” said Roni Tyler from behind the bar, daughter of its namesake, Don McCoy. “Most people don’t know we’re out here.”

Though spoken with the modesty of a true Irishwoman, her smile suggested she knew her secret, though well kept, was shared by a loyal following which flock in nightly for the $2 domestic bottles and occasional free pool at Happy Hour and most certainly for the food. Everything on the menu is house-made fresh, says the cook, Jason Nour. And you don’t have to be a critic to taste the truth. It’s in each bite: For example, the mozzarella sticks are worth the dieting adultery that is fried cheese.

“You should try my jalapeno garlic wings or the homemade soup,” Nour boasted from a serving window in the kitchen.

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The move to the developing Grimes location in 2005 not only brought Tyler’s work closer to home, but it also allowed her to expand on her original idea by adding quality food, which is touted by word of mouth and a wholesome staff.

“That’s what we’ve come to be known for — good service and good food,” she said. “I have really good help here. The service is kind of old-school, ya know? Compared to other places.”

So, you could say it’s “the real McCoy” (but that’s despicably too easy of a cliché). Ah, hell. It is, though.

It’s an Irish bar because the family descends from Ireland. But it doesn’t shove its Irish down a patron’s throat with gaudy green paint, a blarney stone prop or goofy T-shirts for sale on the wall. Flogging Molly doesn’t swear from speakers somewhere, riling up rowdy drinkers. It’s just: Eat, drink and enjoy friendly conversation with good company — real people out to prove nothing. No gimmick. Just real.

Even the clock on the wall is set to real time, proving no one behind the bar is ever in a hurry to shoo away patrons before closing time. Real.

LAST CALL Louie’s Wine Dive is currently under construction in Waukee at William’s Point, slated to open this spring… Rock Bottom is hosting its annual Fire Chief Ale promotion, a special beer-and-“fiery food” release, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the St. Florian Fire and Burn Foundation and the International Association of Fire Fighters Charitable Foundation through March 30… Sbrocco recently announced it’s closing. CV

McCoy’s Bar and Grill
3600 S.E. Crossroads Drive, Grimes
HOURS: Mon.-Thurs. 11 a.m.-12 a.m.;
Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-2 a.m.
HAPPY HOUR: 4-7 p.m. Mon.-Fri.
ENTERTAINMENT: Occasional live music
ST. PADDY’S: Green beer special on draws and pitchers, Ruben meal deal and “Irish waffles” (waffle fries, corned beef, cabbage)

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