Doc’s Lounge offers a shot (or two, or three) of fun3/13/2013
The new owners of Doc’s Lounge in Johnston have lofty dreams of generally goofing off — so much, in fact, they’ve made it their business. It’s not that Mary Ann and Brian Lee don’t take their new business endeavor seriously, because they certainly do. Both work full-time day jobs, which allow them to take a more relaxed approach at their second business. And if you ask Brian, this kind of work is really more about play.
“It’s a bar. It’s supposed to be fun,” he said.
The young couple has native roots in Johnston, which they hope will earn the respect and appreciation of their neighbors on both sides of North 86th Street.
“It’s a good, little neighborhood bar for the residents of the housing developments around here, and we have a good connection with the area,” Brian said. “I was born and raised in Johnston, our kids go to school in Johnston, so we just really want this to be THE Johnston bar.”
Judging by the steady flow of friends coming and going on a Tuesday happy hour, it’s apparent that the crowd has changed from what the old W’s Lounge once lured. The bar changed hands in November with a more contemporary look, crowd and amenities.
“We sort of got this place by accident,” Brian said. “My sister helped the last owner with operations, but things just didn’t go as planned. So we decided to take it over.”
Brian’s sister Sandy stayed on to manage Doc’s. She’s developed a creative martini menu and a couple of milky concoctions called the Flu Shot and the Muscle Relaxer. Doc’s also offers an Around the World passport for craft beer sampling that can graduate card-holders into Monday night’s mug club, earning them a 28-ounce commemorative mug that can be filled to the frothy brim for 3 bucks.
“I just want people to have a good time,” said Brian, who started that mission by bringing in several arcade games, including Beer Ball Classic (a one-person ski ball game that spits out drink tickets if you’re skilled enough), darts and what he considers to be one of the finest quality pool tables in the metro.
“I’m an avid pool player, so the quality of the table and the cues is important to me,” he said.
That’s why he also offers free pool on Sundays and sponsors pool leagues.
“I’d like to get going in some dart leagues, too,” he said. “And I wish more places in town would have ski ball. Bigger cities have ski ball leagues. That’d be something different and fun.”
Lee plans to pack the neighborhood’s only bar patio with cyclists, bike nighters and live music this summer. CV
Doc’s Lounge 8805 Chambery Boulevard, Johnston 515-278-7090 www.docsinjohnston.com/Facebook Hours: Mon.-Wed. 3 p.m.-close; Thurs.-Fri. 1 p.m.-close; Sat.-Sun. 11 a.m.-close Happy Hour: 3-7 p.m. Mon.-Fri.; 1-6 p.m. on Sat.; all day specials on Sun. Entertainment: Tuesday Night Trivia 7-9 p.m.; live music Friday nights, as announced; Free pool Sundays; and Mug Club Mondays Capacity: 82