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That Dam Pub

4/1/2020

Gnarly, dude! A totally rad pub located in Beaverdale offers a bar, dining area and a game room. Sweet!

The Dam Pub opened in 2019, boasting a 1980s and 1990s theme throughout the place. Music CDs, along with movie quotes and posters from “Top Gun,” “Ghostbusters” and “Terminator” are part of the décor. The black paint with pink, turquoise and neon reflects a retro vibe. Although the wait staff didn’t have Aqua Net-teased bangs, they did serve up some unique food and drink options.

The owners, Renee and Clark Way, also own The Angry Goldfish. Searching for another venue, they found a family-friendly location with a strong neighborhood connection.

For the current theme, Renee says the inspiration came after watching a trio of movies, including “The Breakfast Club,” “The Goonies” and “16 Candles.”

“We happened to be opening the place at the same time I saw the movies. It gave us the inspiration to do something completely out there,” she says.

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She noticed new restaurants in Des Moines popping up with an overabundance of barn wood and tin décor.

“We wanted the complete opposite,” she said. “At first we questioned ourselves, but thought it felt good to reminisce and others might feel the same way.”

The inside is a combination of pieced-together building, along with an old alley separating the three areas. The dining room is ideal for larger groups. The game room contains several vintage all-ages video and arcade games.

The menu borrows a similar item from The Angry Goldfish, including seasoned oyster crackers for $1. Pizza is half price on Mondays. A unique offering is the Monte Cristo. This pumped-up Texas toast, served with ham, turkey and Swiss, is deep fried, sprinkled with powdered sugar and served with spicy strawberry jam. The unique flavor combination is reminiscent of a state fair funnel cake and Cheese Frenchee from the iconic King’s Food Host.

Instead of happy hour, they have all-day drink specials — because “people want to be happy after 6.” Fridays include $4 Deep Eddy Vodka drinks. Throwback Thursdays get you $2 cans of Busch, Old Milwaukee or Coors Banquet. But no worries, they still have local beers — Exile, Confluence and more on tap.

Wine drinkers — who don’t always need high-end bottles — will appreciate the decent selection, with bottles in the $25 drinkable range. A popular shot flight lets you pick four spirits from a list for only $14.

This summer, the rooftop patio will open, along with a street-side patio.

As Marky Mark sang on the overhead music, “Good Vibrations” are found right in Beaverdale, and it’s a sweet sensation. ♦

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