Best Des Moines bars for watching the Big Four Classic
Iowa vs. Drake and Iowa State vs. Northern Iowa are taking the court on Saturday, Dec. 19 for the annual Hy-Vee Big Four Classic. Iowa vs. Drake tips off at 3:30 p.m. and ISU vs. Northern Iowa tip off at 6:00 p.m., all at the Iowa Events Center. Tickets are running between $25 and $75, but if you’d rather watch it from the comfort of a bar, these are the spots to watch.
Hawkeyes: G Mig’s 5th Street Pub
If you’re a Hawkeye fan looking for some other Hawks to nest with, you’ll find comfort in the warm, black-and-gold setting of G Mig’s 5th Street Pub. Enjoy booze and delicious food, including the mighty prime rib burger -- fresh prime rib, shaved sweet onions, sliced portabella mushrooms and melty Monterrey cheese on a grilled ciabatta bun. Add horseradish sauce on the side and it’s a slam dunk kind of lunch.
Find it: 128 5th St, West Des Moines
Saturday Hours: 8 a.m. - 2 a.m
Bulldogs: The Library
Who says libraries are just for studying? Small but mighty, this classic Drake bar has Bulldog written all over it. Cozy into a booth with friends or watch the game from one of the bar stools. Between their famous nachos and the awesome craft beer selection, the Library never disappoints. Oh, and if you're looking to start early, they have one heck of a brunch.
Find it: 3506 University Ave.
Saturday Hours: 8 a.m. - 2 a.m.
Cyclones: Keg Stand
As any Cyclone would know, is this the place to catch a game with fellow fans. This bar is not only great for its numerous amount of TV's, but for its $1 mystery tap beer. You can get out of there for $5 or less for drinks during a game. Keg Stand also has a decent selection of food. Count yourself in for some wings with traditional sauce or choose from 23 of their flavors. Don’t be shy to order a steak, too.
Find it: 3530 Westown Pkwy, West Des Moines
Saturday Hours: 9 a.m. - 2 a.m.
Panthers: The Other Place
Why not watch the Panther’s play where UNI students claim was one of the best bars in college? Head to the (other) Other Place just off University in Clive for lots of beer, TV's, and of course: pizza. Order the Buffalo Chicken Pizza, or another student fave: the Chicken Alfredo. The garlic cheese bread is a winner, too.
Find it: 12401 University Ave, Clive
Saturday Hours: 11 am - 2 am
All Fans: El Bait Shop
This is definitely a beer haven and not so much a sports hangout, but if you’re someone that cares about what's in your glass a little more than the game on the screen, then this is going to be your place. It will be a miracle if your team can score 185 points, but you and your friends can score with 185 different beers on tap. And don't forget that Velvet Elvis Dip.
Find it: 200 SW 2nd St
Saturday Hours: 11 a.m. - 2 a.m.
All Fans: Draught House 50
Draught House 50 welcomes fans of all Big Four teams. With plenty of TVs, tables and bar space, you won’t have to rub elbows with the competition or miss a free throw -- just like your respected team. Draught House 50 serves up a mean breakfast to get you in the spirit for game day. For the ultimate pre-game meal, order Lumpy’s Fried Egg: Texas toast, fried egg, bacon tomato and cheddar cheese.
Find it: 6240 Mills Civic Pkwy, West Des Moines
Saturday Hours: 10 a.m. - 2 a.m.