Thursday, August 11, 2022

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B&G Bar — ‘a good place to relax’



B&G Bar is an upbeat place where people go to relax. But it isn’t boring, at least not according to bar regulars Haris Zuljevic and Semir Dzankovic.

“The craziest thing I’ve ever seen was three bartenders dancing on the bar,” Zuljevic said.

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Haris Zuljevic and Semir Dzankovic enjoy an Italian coffee at B&G Bar.

European music plays in the background, and the bar has a Bosnian owner. There are white leather couches, neon lighting, ample space to move around and an international feel. Zuljevic and Dzankovic say it’s their favorite spot in town.

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“I can tell you why I come,” said Zuljevic. “No one bothers you here, and the bartenders and owner are nice.”

Zuljevic also likes B&G Bar because it plays live UFC fights and championship bouts on the giant projection TV.

“They have all the huge fights,” Zuljevic said. Then he adds that the best time he ever had at the B&G Bar was when Elvis “The King” Mutapcic fought on an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) undercard. Mutapcic was born in Sarajevo, but he came up the ranks in Des Moines and has a lot of supporters here.

“There were at least 200 people here (for the fight),” Zuljevic said. “He used to live in Johnston.”

But not all the bar’s clientele are fight fans.

“A lot of customers come from the hotel and across the street,” said Zuljevic. “There are a lot of business people who come in.”

On weekdays, most people visit the bar after work. On weekends, people come in around the clock. Zuljevic says the customer base ranges in age from 21 to 60.

Zuljevic said even people who don’t like watching sporting events have plenty of other reasons to stop in.

One of the best reasons, according to Dzankovic, is the unique blend of Italian coffee, brewed fresh in front of your eyes for $2. That’s why he’s here today.

“Where else in town can you get espresso for $2?” he asked. “Every weekend is something different in here. It’s a relaxed atmosphere for people that like to have a good time. On the weekends, it’s packed.”

He notes that B&G Bar rarely charges a cover fee, and he also likes that vaping is allowed.

Smokers enjoy the outdoor patio, which might be the biggest one on Merle Hay Road. And you can take your drinks out there with you as well, said Zuljevic.

“People won’t regret coming, that’s for sure,” Zuljevic said. “Maybe they’ll regret it tomorrow morning, but this is a good place to relax.”

There are often DJs on weekends, with European music playing during the daytime hours and a variety of music during the night. Sometimes there are live bands as well.

When the music gets going, the dance floor comes alive. According to Zuljevic, Brazilian dancers perform there at times.

“They can really move, I’ll tell you that,” he said. CV



B&G Bar

4995 Merle Hay Road, Urbandale


HOURS: 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily


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