Not homicidal at Andy’s Place6/1/2016
“Did you know that one out of 25 people have no conscience?” Rebecca Anderson is pouring a drink behind the bar she owns and operates, Andy’s Place. She’s discussing the perils of sociopaths in society with her regulars. Anderson knows them all well, but they don’t know one another, so she’s quick to assure anyone with ears to hear, “We’re not all homicidal.”
Anderson has owned the building for more than 20 years. She said it’s been Andy’s Place for eight. The name — her father’s nickname — was her idea.
“That way, it sounds like a guy owns it,” she laughed. “I’ve had people come in who swear they were ‘roommates in college’ or used to ‘play basketball’ with the owner.”
She informed one such person that she was the actual owner, and the person sheepishly replied, “Well… you’ve changed a lot since college, haven’t you?”
Andy’s has a long bar-top stretching around two sides of the building at a right angle. It leaves a lot of room for many bar stools, so most patrons can belly up to the bar. Rebecca keeps a tall desk chair behind the counter. When she isn’t pouring drinks, she can roll up a seat, settle in and belly up, too. She is one part barroom counselor, another part life coach.
“I do ‘Mom’ for a lot of people,” Anderson said. “I’m 66 years old, and I’m still doing new things. Try it. Fail. I don’t care if you scrape the bottom of the barrel, pick yourself up and fail again.”
Anderson and her regulars are now contemplating the pros and (mostly) cons of “sugar daddies,” or dating men who graduated high school with their fathers.
“It’s about how you take care of yourself,” one said. “I don’t want you to die five years into the relationship.”
Someone new opens the door and enters. Anderson doesn’t know the person’s drink order, but she knows his or her life story. That’s true for everyone here.
Another reason people like to stop in? The liquor.
“I make some very interesting drinks,” Anderson said, noting her specialty: frosted-rimmed glasses in which she uses icing usually reserved for cakes. Her German chocolate drinks with crushed hard candy are popular, and her shots that taste like s’mores from a campfire draw customers’ pleasing grins as well. She has other treats, too.
“She has the biggest selection of booze you’ve ever seen,” someone chimes in from down the bar.
Andy’s has TVs, but it’s not a sports bar. It has free Wi-Fi, a standard tavern pool table, touchscreen games, plus Ms. Pacman and video Bags, among others. But none of that is why anyone is here.
The heart and soul of Andy’s Place is the bartender and owner sitting in the escalated desk chair behind the bar. Like so many other homes, it’s the “mom” who makes this one “go.”
“And, yes,” she said. “We do discuss religion and politics here.”
Plus, not everyone at Andy’s is homicidal. CV
5114 S.W. Ninth St., 515-287-4586
Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, 3 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Wednesday and Friday from 1 p.m. to 2 a.m.; or whenever the owner feels like it.