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Posted November 30, 2016in Belly Up

1908 Draught House will not change its name

When the Chicago Cubs won the 2016 World Series, much of central Iowa joined in a long-overdue celebration. After nearly 100 years of torment since the team’s last crown, it was a jubilant time in the city. One business —1908 Draught House — was faced with a dilemma. Its very

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Posted November 02, 2016in Belly Up

Trophy’s Sports Bar & Grill

The pulse quickens under the heat of the bright lights. The man with the hot mic is elevated on stage. The vocal chords quiver. The pupils dilate — it’s go time. “I had a heart attack six-and-a-half weeks ago, so I’ve had to tone it down,” says Frank Munch, a

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Posted October 05, 2016in Belly Up

Winning hearts and minds, one martini at a time

With more than 100 martinis on the menu, The Stuffed Olive, located in the historic Court Avenue District, is a unique place with a unique name that is sure to have your new favorite drink on its menu. Brendan Kelley, the owner, general manager and the man generally in charge

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Posted August 31, 2016in Belly Up

Blind-music dates vs. YouTube rabbit holes

“Obviously, you’re a moron.” That’s what potential investors, lenders and even friends told Anne Mathey and her business partner, Erik Brown, two years ago. The duo planned to put a new music venue into an old refurbished bar and name it after a three-legged dog owned by Mathey. Lefty’s Live

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Posted August 10, 2016in Belly Up

Good times at Gas Lamp

Gas Lamp is an old-school music venue in the Western Gateway portion of downtown that recently finished some redecorating. “There are no more nudes,” said Antonio Javier Manilla Rodriguez IIV. “It’s the end of an era.” Rodriguez is speaking of the iconic Playboy centerfolds that used to line the restroom

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Posted July 27, 2016in Belly Up

Ready, set… GT’s

It’s nearly the end of July, and there aren’t any coats hanging from the Ducati motorcycle that’s been transformed into a coat rack, which hangs from the wall at GT’s, a neighborhood lounge on Ingersoll. The bar is decorated in a racing theme in which helmets are arranged in various

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Posted July 20, 2016in Belly Up

A homemade recipe at Quijano’s Bar & Grill

“The best bloody Larry in town.” That’s the claim of Quijano’s Bar and Grill on Southeast Sixth Street. “Larry” isn’t a typo. The drink might look like a bloody mary, and it might taste like one, too, but according to the bar’s co-owner and namesake Larry Quijano, there is something

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Posted July 13, 2016in Belly Up

Ron & Pat’s Brew Haus — ‘nice people’

  The sign above the white gravel parking lot shows two frothy beer steins poised to clink together. The old school, lounge-looking watering hole sits low on the corner of McKinley Avenue and Southwest Ninth Street. From the outside looking in, the place looks quaint. Inside, the floor is carpeted,

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Posted July 06, 2016in Belly Up

Not part of the plan

    Jim Besler didn’t plan on owning The Thirsty Sportsman — in fact, he never planned on owning any bar. “I thought I was going to go to work in an office every day,” he said. But that’s not how it worked out. Instead, Besler, who studied accounting in

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Posted June 29, 2016in Belly Up

Locust Tap — an old-school bar since 1933

  In 1937, two packs of cigarettes cost about a quarter, America was in the depths of a depression, and the prohibition banning alcohol had only recently ended in 1933. It was also a year a small East Village pub opened its doors to the public for the first time,

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