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A place for everyone


The recent renovation of a historic music venue has brought upon a new focus for Lefty’s Live Music.

Shirts from every band to ever play at Lefty’s line the ceiling, while snacks and beer from around the metro area are served every night.

Lefty’s Live Music aims to be an inclusive bar and music venue for all genres.

Lefty’s Live Music aims to be an inclusive bar and music venue for all genres.

“We stuck to our gameplan. We wanted to be a live music venue that has a bar, not the other way around,” said co-owner Anne Mathey.

The venue features talented bands from every genre. Musicians touring the country make stops at Lefty’s, but it is also a home for well-known local bands as well.

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“We focus on the music, the artists and on our community,” Mathey said.

Mathey and co-owner Erick Brown have lined the bar with art from local artists, portraits ranging from Ozzy Osborne to Madonna to Mathey’s three-legged dog, Lefty. Lefty became the face of the bar after a few late nights of brainstorming names.

The bar also features a full menu of Iowa-brewed beers on tap, local eats such as Mo’Rub nuts and snacks, and a sound system that has brought many compliments from customers and band members alike.

Mathey and Brown have been involved in the Des Moines music community for years and just recently decided that it was their turn, “to carry the torch,” after The House of Bricks decided to reset its focus toward food instead of music. Both Mathey and Brown worked at House of Bricks and left shortly after the decision.

IMG_0426Lefty’s Live Music landed in a venue that has had a big name in Des Moines’ music scene in the past. The space was Dublin most recently, but prior to becoming an Irish bar, it was home for many Iowa musicians and music lovers. Hairy Mary’s was a staple for concertgoers back in 1990s and was once owned by Slipknot’s Shawn Crahan. Mathey and Brown want to bring back that same music-centered atmosphere to the Des Moines community.

The venue can hold up to 350 people and has shows scheduled throughout the week. Open mic comedy hits the stage every Tuesday, and Wednesdays usually feature

Americana and blues music.

“We don’t want to pigeonhole ourselves by focusing on a certain genre,” said Mathey.

The idea of the bar is to celebrate a music community Mathey and Brown both know and love. It’s also about supporting the Des Moines community that has offered them so much support.

Opening in July of this year has created some challenges for the business partners, but the music community and the friends they’ve made in Des Moines have helped them in every way possible, from building a stage to fixing the plumbing, Mathey said.

The ultimate goal is to make the bar and venue a home for anyone.

“My biggest dream would be to have the genres mesh,” said Mathey.

A bar full of Americana lovers, heavy metal fans, blues lovers and college students would be a dream come true for Mathey and Brown.

So far, so good. CV

Lefty’s Live Music

2307 University Ave.
Mon. – Sun. 4 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Happy hour: 4-6 p.m. (on nights without shows)

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