A homerun of a bar4/15/2015
The key to reopening a new bar in a city filled with competition is to be different. Otherwise, why would anyone leave his or her comfortable favorite to try out a new place that might have higher-priced drinks and worse service?
Cory and Chelsea Steiner bought the old Fat Tony’s last year, and, rather than simply changing the décor and adding a TV or two, they created an entirely new bar in Extra Innings. The name is a reference to a time when that same bar was called Richard’s Extra Innings under a different owner. And the name fits, as the bar is located up the street from the Principal Park Stadium.
But it’s not just another sports bar. The Steiners gave the small place a major remodel, expanding the patio, adding bench seating inside the main area and moving the pool table outside to open up the space. If there’s one thing that will never go out of style, it’s a patio bar in the Iowa summer.
Equipped with heat lamps, shade covering, booths, a wet bar, beer pong and bags, Extra Innings is clearly a summer bar now. Steiner also added garage doors that open up to the patio and give the bar an even larger feel in the warmer weather.
Manager Teneshia Spears says the new decor and garage doors make the bar look like a completely different place.
“It gives it another feel with the garage doors open and with music, like the speakers outside and the TVs, so it’s pretty cool,” she said.
Everything in the bar looks shiny and new, including the seven TVs placed both inside and on the patio so customers never miss a game — even when they’re playing one themselves.
Even though it is more of a summer bar, Extra Innings welcomed many guests throughout the winter months and hosted several live bands for weekend entertainment, which it will have on Friday nights during the summer.
Since opening last summer, Spears said the bar has been doing well, considering it is more suited to summer weather and people may not know that it has reopened under a new name and new management.
“For us just being new, we’re pretty pleased with the business we’ve got, and people that come in and say that they’re going to come back,” she said. “I anticipate this summer to be great. We have built a pretty good rapport with the neighborhood and people that have been coming in.”
Extra Innings has specials nearly every day and for every sporting event, but the only food to be found are the free hot dogs in the hot dog warmer on the bar counter — except on Tuesdays, that is, which is steak night. There’s no kitchen at the bar, so the Steiners have a local chef come in to grill 8-ounce steaks that are served with two sides and bread for $10. Spears said their first steak night this year sold out two hours into it, so they are prepared to fill larger orders in the future.
When the summer weather hits, there will be no shortage of people lining up to fill every patio Des Moines has to offer, and Extra Innings is about to find out just how long that line is. CV
EXTRA INNINGS SPORTS BAR AND PATIO
1500 S.E. First St., Des Moines
Hours: Mon.-Thurs. 1 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Fri.-Sun. 11 a.m.-2 a.m.
Happy hour: Mon.-Thurs. 1-6 p.m.
Fri. 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.