The scene: Tonic is an upscale bar with a generous selection of single malts, wine and cigars. It’s a relative of a bar with the same name in West Des Moines’ West Glen. Its sizable garden-level patio on North Ankeny Boulevard plays host to seven tables, exponentially more patio chairs, a smattering of flower boxes with fresh flowers and an enormous cement retaining wall. Located on the northeast side of Ankeny, Tonic is in a strip mall that also houses a gym, a restaurant and a pediatrician.
What I ordered: Banners on the patio boasted summer drink specials, including $10 buckets of small bottles of Corona or Corona Lite Sunday through Thursday, or $4 Ciroc drinks every Wednesday.
For our steamy Sunday evening on the patio, I opted for the Sam Adams Summer Ale, a seasonal brew made with malted wheat, lemon peel and a rare pepper from Africa dubbed Grains of Paradise. Golden in color and served in a standard 16-ounce pint glass, the brew was refreshing and the perfect distraction from the heaviness of the humid night air. My drinking partner opted for a bottle of Coors Light, its “cold activation” mountains were blue, indicating “super cold” beer, though it quickly lost the cold war in the 90-degree heat.
What I saw: The first thing we noticed upon entering the patio was a hanging banner informing us that the patio closes nightly at 8:30 p.m., and though the sign doesn’t list the reason, Ankeny City Council meeting notes indicate issues with neighbors complaining about the level of noise originating from the bar’s patio patrons. Seeing as how it’s already seven minutes past the patio curfew and two other tables are already occupied with 20-to-30somethings, we take a seat. Besides Alt Nation (a Sirius satellite radio station) tunes playing from the patio’s lone speaker, the only sound is the whirr of cars as they pass by.
Why you should go: Despite its limited hours, Tonic has a large patio and a healthy selection of drinks from which to choose. Visit for happy hour, daily from 3 to 6:05 p.m.
Find it: 2785 N. Ankeny Blvd., Ankeny
Hours: 3 p.m.-2 a.m. Sunday through Friday;
noon-2 a.m. Saturday
Info: 965-5423; tonicbars.com
Patio highlights: Large tables and plenty of comfy patio chairs create ample outdoor drinking space.