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Triple Crown Sports Bar

5/31/2023

An established southside location has transformed into a neighborhood bar, Triple Crown Sports Bar. Located at 1500 S.E. First St., the previous digs housed various bars the past 60 years.

Triple Crown Sports Bar is a no-frills traditional bar where you won’t find drinks that cost more than $8.

New owners Michael Burch and his wife, Monja, bought the old Extra Innings bar. They completely gutted and remodeled the place last year, opening it in January 2023.

The bar opens up to a large patio on two street corners. Stretch your neck and you can see the gold-domed capital building and downtown Des Moines just across the Raccoon River.

The patio is breezy with several wood booths, along with wrought iron patio tables and chairs. Toss a few bags for cornhole, and you’ve got a competition among friends.

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Happy hour gets you $3 domestic beers, $4 seltzers, $6 for a 16-ounce craft beer cans and discounted well drinks. My Belly Up partner and I ordered a Big Grove beer and a well vodka. It cost less than $10 — a bargain for two drinks.

They also have a late Wednesday “trade” night happy hour, as not everyone is off work by 6 p.m. This happy hour goes until 9 p.m.

Going to an I-Cubs game? It’s a short walk to Principal Park, so it’s easy to stop before for a quick drink. Or, after the game, present your ticket stub for $1 off any drink.

There’s no food offered. However, guests are welcome to bring in any takeout food. Since Tumea and Sons is right across the street, patrons frequently stop before or after. Graziano Brothers is a couple blocks away, so you can pack your own knuckle sandwich or get a grinder to go.

Karaoke is offered Tuesday evenings. They’ve hosted several live musicians and will provide more tunes on the patio. Look for more yard games, such as giant beer pong. Music on the digital jukebox was a good variety; some old school rock was mixed in with newer tunes.

As it’s a sports bar, baseball was playing on one of a half dozen TVs. Whatever popular sporting event is going on, they provide all the NFL and other sports packages.

With proximity to the downtown Des Moines bike trails, groups of bicyclists are making the trek in search of places to clack their bike cleats, throw bags and down a few cheap drinks.

Burch, who is a southside “lifer,” is proud of the area and the new reputation of the place. “The old location — we’re not that anymore. We’ve got a doorman on Saturdays. We respect the neighborhood and pride ourselves in having a good time. We care about the southsiders, through and through,” he says.

If you yearn for a basic friendly bar — nothing too fancy, but not too dive-like — try the new Triple Crown Sports Bar.

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