Tuesday, August 16, 2022

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Belly Up To...

See what they’re whispering about at Secrets


Bar manager, Ivy, and her all-bark-no-bite bouncer, Rufus.

Bar manager, Ivy, and her all-bark-no-bite bouncer, Rufus.

Clive has a new secret — a bar. Of course, it’s no secret that Clive has a bar. Clive has many bars. But, at Secrets, there’s Rufus.

As if you’re walking into his house, Rufus greets each patron at the door with a non-threatening little bark alarm to let you know he knows you’re there. He does the standard sniffing of the toes, before he’ll let you squat down and pet his furry little head. But get it done in 10 seconds or less, because he’s in a hurry to get back to his mama, Ivy, behind the bar.

“He’s here all the time with me,” Ivy smiled.

She can tell you about the stellar specials the old bar with a new name is offering to draw patrons, she has stories about her eight years working at a restaurant in Cedar Rapids, she can discuss her house-hunting endeavors here the metro, but no subject carries the conviction behind her green eyes like that of her pooch, Rufus.

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“He has his own bar stool that he always sits at,” she said. “We’re thinking about getting him a T-shirt that says ‘Security’ on it.”

She laughed. Who wouldn’t? Just the idea of little Rufus wearing a tiny yellow “Security” T-shirt like the badass bouncer he so clearly is churns up a chuckle from the belly. Little dogs always think they’re so tough, don’t they? But at Secrets, Rufus has an easy job, Ivy said.

“The regulars are like family here,” Ivy noticed in her first week. “They’ve been coming here forever. They’re pretty loyal to the place. It’s a nice gathering of different people from around town. We never have any problems, arguments or fights. Everybody seems to know each other even if they don’t.”

That’s why it’s a popular place for birthday parties — one of Secrets’ best-kept secrets: the intimate size, pool table and games, DJ and dance floor, and the $5 cover, all-you-can-drink Birthday Thursday deal.

It’s not just birthdays either. Every day offers a special that seems too good to be true. Sorry, but the secret’s officially out.

LAST CALL… To help fight off the major league affiliate, Chicago Cubs’ “Curse of the Billy Goat,” Johnny’s Hall of Fame is hosting its second annual Iowa Cubs opening day party on Thursday, April 3, where guests can have their photo taken with the goat. Food and drink specials run from 1-6:35 p.m., along with giveaways and live music throughout the day. Live music starts at 3 p.m. … Old Legion Brewing Company will launch its military-themed beer statewide by Memorial Day. The can features a cannon on one side and a section profiling an Iowa Veteran who went “above and beyond the call of duty” on the other. Old Legion is American made, veteran-owned and its proceeds support local veteran causes (www.oldlegionbrewing.com).

1871 86th St.
HOURS: 4 p.m.-2 a.m. daily
HAPPY HOUR: 4-7 p.m. Monday-Friday
ENTERTAINMENT: Live DJs on Saturday,
9 p.m.; Live music as announced.
CAPACITY: About 100

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