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When approaching 30hop at The District at Prairie Trail in Ankeny, the colorful outdoor patio resembles a large downtown metro area. Maybe because, on the second story of the building, is a New York Life sign. Turning the corner, yet another patio provides both sun and shade options. Inside, the AC is cranked. Decisions. Decisions. Where to sit? The outdoor breeze in the shade seems idyllic on a warm Sunday afternoon to sit among vibrant flowers. 

30hop is not a brewery with just 30 hops of beer, as some mistakenly believe. It’s a full-service bar and restaurant with double the amount of beer and spirits, and then some. 30hop established itself in Coralville 10 years ago, and a second location popped up in Cedar Rapids. The owners moved west with its third location in Ankeny, opening in October 2022.

The colorful vibe, with its flower-lined patio, the lime green awning and blue chairs, provides a welcoming atmosphere. Inside, even more pops of color include green barstools, pale red chairs and unique lighting fixtures. Somehow, this joint doesn’t feel like suburbia. 

Looks aside, what matters is the food, drink and service, right? Turns out that the food and drinks match the décor with a unique menu. Service is spot on.

We arrived during “30hour,” which is 30hop’s new happy hour menu. From Sunday through Friday, from 3-6 p.m., patrons get 30% off appetizers, draft beer, glasses of wine, house cocktails, well and call drinks. 

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The beer selection includes more than 30 rotating craft beers from local breweries, including Toppling Goliath Radiant Haze — a 16-ounce pour for $7. With Confluence, Big Grove, Barntown, Gezellig and NoCoast, nearly every Iowa brewery is represented. Eight- to 20-ounce pours cost between $3.50 and $9. 

Cocktails include mules, agave, clear spirited, old fashioned and a spirit-free section. I chose the Strawberry Fields and persisted in humming the Beatles song long after I ordered it. The drink included citrus vodka, pureed strawberry, sour and cranberry for $8.99. It’s on par with regards to price of comparable metro spots’ craft cocktails. 

Appetizers rang in at 30% off from a list of nine apps, including street corn nachos, pretzel bites, buffalo cauliflower and honey strung brussels sprouts. These crispy brussels sprouts made with honey chili garlic sauce, creamy iso, wonton strips, sesame and scallion were $12.99 and so flavorful. Who knew veggies could taste this good?

The dynamite shrimp was crispy with chili crunch and yum yum sauce, served on a bed of sushi rice and napa slaw for $14.99. If you’re there before 6 p.m., make sure you order one of these apps.  

The main menu includes salads, which come in two sizes. The Very Berry salad, a gluten-friendly option, includes greens, strawberries, blueberries, candied pecan, goat cheese, honey vin with a balsamic glaze. A small cost $6.99 and a large, $10.99.

Tacos, burgers, sandos (sandwiches), noodle bowls, rice bowls, wings and a kids menu round out the menu. A brunch happy hour includes $1.99 double mimosas on weekends. A Monday night burger special gets you a classic burger for $5.99.

During the summer, sit outside on the patio for live music on Wednesday nights. Or, stop at 30hop before or after the nearby District’s outdoor concerts and other events.

30hop is one of those establishments that does everything right. The ambience, décor, menu, service and happy hour are excellent reasons to hop over to Ankeny and check the place out.

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