Here we go! It’s that time of year again when two of our state’s biggest schools go head to head in the classic Iowa vs. Iowa State football game. For those of us who are staying back in Des Moines to either avoid the traffic or weren’t able to grab a ticket for the game, here are 4 bars where you can sing your fight song loud and proud.
Wellman’s Pub & Rooftop
Although, this may be a house divided, there are still a few more Hawkeye fans than Cyclones at a Wellman’s on game day. Pick this spot if you want to feel that brisk fall air on your face while enjoying a tight knit bar setting. Watch the game from two patio options - the rooftop or the lower level and yell so loud that the golfers at Glen Oaks get distracted. Throughout the game enjoy $5 pitchers during halftime and shot specials when Hawkeyes and/or Cyclones score!
If you want to celebrate with a drink, enjoy an old fashioned. If you need a drink to make the pain of a loss go away, order an orange crush.
Find it: 597 Market St, West Des Moines
Hours: Monday - Friday 11:00am - 2:00am, Saturday - Sunday 10:00am - 2:00am,
Contact: (515) 222-1100
The Keg Stand
It’s tough not to pass up this bar in West Des Moines. Jack Trice South? It may just be. Cyclones have been hovering around the Keg Stand for the past couple of years. There are tons of TV’s, a great patio, and fun games like bags and other arcade games. Notable food items would include their wings and tenderloins. Both are great options to give you some fuel before game time. Make sure you get there in plenty of time because this place fills up fast. One of my most favorite features about this bar is their $1 mystery tap. You never know what it’s going to be but who can’t pass up a dollar beer? If you aren’t up for a mystery, they’ve got over 50+ taps to choose from.
If you’re looking for a celebration drink, get the $1 beer. If you’re looking for a drink to ease the pain of a loss, get the $1 beer. Your Cyclones may not have won, but you’ll be a winner either way with these choices.
Find it: 3530 Westown Pkwy, West Des Moines
Hours: Monday - Tuesday 3:00pm - 2:00am, Wednesday - Friday 11:00am - 2:00am, Saturday 9:00am - 2:00am, Sunday 12:00pm - 2:00am
Contact: (515) 327-7429
University of Iowa
G Mig's 5th Street Pub
Just look for the Hawkeye flag on a building or hear 84 loud and proud Hawkeye fans yelling on a quiet Valley Junction walkway. Fans that come to this location to cheers on the Hawks are more than happy to let you know that it’s the Hawk’s Nest of central Iowa. Black and gold will fill every seat while game day specials are going on and the speakers will be turned up to stadium level. Drinking or not, you might think you’re actually in Iowa City at some point during the game time.
Celebrate a Hawkeye win with a local brew from Peace Tree! Or, if the Hawkeyes can’t pull it off, slumber back into your seat with a Corona because being on the beach is better than watching the Hawkeyes lose.
Find it: 128 5th Street West Des Moines
Hours: Monday 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm, Tuesday – Wed 11:00am-2:00pm & 5:00 pm -9:00 pm, Thursday 11:00 am-2:00pm & 5:00 pm -10:00 pm, Fri: 11:00 am-2:00 pm & 5:00 pm -10:00 pm
Saturday 8:00 am to 10:00 pm
Front Row Bar
The name says it all for a fan looking to catch the game with fellow Hawkeyes. It’ll be like you’re in the front row with all of the black and gold around you. The Front Row Bar has become the premiere Hawkeye bar in the state. There is Hawkeye gear lined up and down the wall and even a giant Herky the Hawk statue to get a selfie in front of! You need to get to the Front Row early to enjoy their Hawkeye game day special. During the times of 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. on a Hawkeye Saturday, with the purchase of a Bloody Mary, you can eat breakfast for free! Load up on omelets, biscuits and gravy and French Toast. With that, you’ll be set for kick-off!
If you’re looking for a celebration drink, order a moscow mule because your team out hauled the other team. If you can’t take the loss, mind as well grab the namesake, Hawkeye vodka with some tonic.
Find it: 655 University Ave., Windsor Heights
Info: 515-255-6912, frontrowbar.com
Hours: 3 p.m.-2 a.m. Monday through Friday; 10 a.m.-2 a.m. Saturday and Sunday; open 8 a.m. for early Hawkeye games