Clive’s 86th Street bar scene has lost a dance club and gained another neighborhood hangout. Hangar 86 recently celebrated its grand opening, showing off fresh paint, fresh furniture and a fresh theme.
Generally speaking, airplanes and alcohol don’t mix. But when it comes to Hangar 86, the two have been melded together in a way that works. Gone is the red and black décor of the previous bar of many names (Gronaus, G-Spot and G2), the walls are now a fresh shade of sky blue and the stripper pole has been exchanged for a petite corner stage.
To keep the aviation theme , ceiling fan blades have been replaced with ones resembling propellers and a large stenciled “86” on the wall adds a vintage aviation vibe to the joint. Peppered amongst the typical bar signs are painted aluminum signs featuring retro bomber girls. With all these old-school, airplane-inspired chotchkes, I almost wish they’d taken the theme to the max. But alas, Hangar 86 is meant to appeal to the masses, and all things are offered in moderation.
When we arrived at 9 p.m. on a Saturday, the generous happy hour had just ended; daily happy hour specials include $1 domestic draws, $2 well drinks and free pool. Hangar 86 boasts a selection of Three Olive flavored vodkas, serves up draft beer in oversized frosted mugs and serves Ames-brewed Olde Main beers. Despite these options, I opted for a bottle of Stella Artois and my drinking partner ordered a Captain and Coke.
The stage was inhabited by a local cover band, alternating between a single guy with guitar and the same guitarist with a backing band. Since the room holds a mere hundred patrons, the din of the drums, even without microphones, is a bit overwhelming. Future live music offerings would be better served with a single guitarist.
As a newcomer to the 86th Street bar scene, Hangar 86 has certainly done its part to clean up the riff raff of its previous incarnation and provide a friendly neighborhood hangout. It’s too early to tell if the bar will take flight and fill a niche , but patrons should be happy with the upgrades made to the Hangar 86 space.
Find it: 1871 N.W. 86th St., Clive
Hours: 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Monday-Friday; 5 p.m.-2 a.m. Saturday-Sunday