Monday, October 25, 2021

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The draw of GoodSons




There are times when you just need to chill. And a good place to chill is at Goodson’s in Beaverdale.

“It’s a real mellow place,” says a bartender who goes by Tennessee Chris. “Everybody’s just hanging out, listening to the jukebox.”


GoodSons is a place where people relax and hang out with their neighbors. Regulars such as Bill Thorn (pictured) also make chalk drawings on the tabletops and bar.

Prep Iowa

The calm is helped by the chalkboard counters and tables that patrons can draw on. Chalk is provided, and anyone can write anything they want. In place of pricing is the chalkboard with the specials and an expert drawing of a mug of beer.

“We get some really good artists in here,” Chris says. “A few artists do some really nice stuff that we have to leave a few days.”

He shows off pictures of some of the best art done by the most prominent artist from the place, Bill Thorn, including brightly colored trees that look real, a lovingly-rendered drawing of a man who has indulged too much, and a wide-range of animals and characters. But with few exceptions, most art is wiped away the moment the artist is gone to leave room for the next person.

The bar has more than 80 beers and a pizzeria across the street. Pizzas are brought into the bar beginning at 5 p.m. The bar boasts real copper Moscow mule mugs — nothing steel-lined. “Gotta have the good stuff,” Chris says.

But what most everyone recommends are the wings, which won the 3rd Annual Wing Ding Best Sauce Contest last year. Chris expects them to win again.

The bar is filled with memorabilia, a combination of old Star Wars models and toys and Elvis prints and statues. On the ceiling, Boba Fett chases the Millennium Falcon, and TIE Fighters battle with X-Wings. On a vent shaft, Obi Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader battle next to two statues of Elvis. The models and toys are vintage, dating back to the 1970s. At the back are two velvet prints, one of Elvis and one of Jesus. On the TV at the front of the bar, Dale the Beaver looks out across the entire room.

“Aaron (the owner) brought them in,” Chris says. “His parents were moving into a condo and just called him to say, ‘Come get your stuff.’ He’s a big Elvis fan and a big, big ‘Star Wars’ fan.”

There are also two miniature golf games, which contribute to the laid-back feel. The people are generally quiet, but they’re friendly and willing to have a conversation. One of the patrons calls it a “neighborhood bar.” Everyone seems to know each other, and even if they don’t, they’ll talk about their cars and motorcycles for hours.

Chris says it’s not always so quiet.

“It gets louder in the evenings when the guys pile in,” he says. “ They hang out and play the jukebox. They have a good time.”

The bar is open 364 days a year — the only day it closes is Labor Day.

“People find it from all over the state,” Chris says. “We’ve been here eight years, and we’ll be here even longer.” CV



2815 Beaver Ave., 515-255-1912

Hours: Monday 3 p.m. – 2 a.m.;

Tuesday through Sunday

11 a.m – 2 p.m.


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