A bigger and better Beer Can Alley4/8/2015
To some outsiders, living in Iowa might seem dull, lackluster and full of corn. To those of us who live here, however, Des Moines has a great mixture of small-town simplicity and big-city extravagance — with some cornfields in between. When people come here from other cities, the locals’ love for their state is magnetic. So when business owners want to channel the classic Iowa feel into their bars, there are three major requirements: friendly people, loud country music and beer. A lot of beer.
Slip on your cowboy boots, throw on your jean jacket and check out Beer Can Alley’s new third-floor location, which opened recently where the Venue was formerly located on Court Avenue, next to The Exchange.
“The one thing I want people to know is that it’s still the same Beer Can feel that you had from the first floor,” explained Ted Hawley, one of the bar’s owners. When Beer Can Alley was still located on the first floor, the space was small and did not have the capacity to hold everyone who wanted to stop in. Lines were always long, and the bar was so busy it took too long to get a drink in every customer’s hands. The first floor could hold about 250 people, and 50-70 less than that if a live band was playing.
“I know that the biggest fear that a lot of our fans had is that we would change the whole feel of the bar,” said Hawley. “It’s still Beer Can Alley. We took everything that was good with the first floor, but the things that needed to be changed we were able to change with the added space of the third floor.”
The location has changed, but the look, feel, environment and overall appeal of Beer Can Alley is still there. Same great drinks, same great music and same great bartenders and wait staff.
“The best part is that we have the same amount of bartenders in a bigger space, so the flow of the bar is better now, and people can move better; it’s easier to get drinks,” Hawley said when explaining how the changes have benefited the bar’s business.
Another benefit to the larger venue is the spacious area designated for pool, bags and darts. No more messing up someone’s pool game when your wild dance moves get out of hand, which is a major plus.
Thursday Night Live is still a featured night at the bar, and with the larger stage area and dance floor, it’ll be a whole new experience for guests. The owners plan to have live music more often on weekends, thanks to the better layout. Visit the Beer Can Alley Facebook page for details on upcoming events and band information.
For a bar that’s 90 percent country and 10 percent just a damn good time, it’s likely to continue filling up its new, bigger space just as well as it did the original. So grab your best flannel, dig out those cowboy boots (we know you have them) and get ready for the biggest country party outside of the barn. CV
Beer Can Alley
216 Court Ave., Des Moines 50309
Sun.–Wed.: 7 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Thurs.–Sat. 5 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Live music every Thursday night