The scene: Bourbon Street is a south side strip mall bar that’s deceptively large; it has a main room with a bar and stage and an adjacent pool room, which features an L-shaped pool table in addition to four conventional ones. The corner stage hosts bands on the weekends and weekly Wednesday karaoke nights. The décor is a bit retro, but it’s well-maintained. In essence, Bourbon Street is, on first blush, a dive with standards.
What we ordered: We showed up at 6 p.m. on a Saturday, meaning we just missed out on the $2.50 tall boys, $3 fire ball shots and $4 bombs that are offered during afternoon Hawkeye football games. Instead we ordered bottles of Bud Light, which at their full price of $3 are at least 50 cents cheaper than downtown and west- side bars.
What we saw: Bourbon Street’s patio is located in the rear of the building, a cement slab with eight tables and three umbrellas that’s surrounded by a six-foot wood fence, meaning the view is of each other or the beer signs that line the wood planks. We arrived shortly after the Hawkeye football team secured a narrow victory, and the patio was filled with a rowdy bunch of University of Iowa loyalists spanning in age from 21 to 51. Despite the age discrepancies, most seemed to know each other and all seemed to know Dave, who received cheers and jeers as he joined the patio drinkers. A group of middle-aged drinkers engaged in conversation about what they consider to be the most offensive curse words (“the ‘C’ word and the ‘T’ word”).
Why you should go: The NFL Sunday Ticket makes Bourbon Street a great south-side location for Sunday football action. In addition to reasonable drink specials, Bourbon Street also serves elevated bar food, including handmade pizza, sausage sandwiches and hamburgers.
Find it: 500 Army Post Road
Hours: 3 p.m.-2 a.m. daily
Patio highlights: A well-maintained cement slab surrounded by a six-foot fence that offers an unobstructed view of, well, fellow drinkers.
Best for: Cheap drinks