Cabaret closed its doors in September, bringing an end to the once-popular old-guard 86th Street triumvirate that at one time included Drink and Crush. Last month, Lisa Flanders, former general manager at Tally's, opened Tapz Pub with a cool concept unique to central Iowa: beer taps at the tables customers can pour their own beer.
The taps: The bar has two tables containing two kegs of beer and two spouts (Bud Light and Fat Tire on one, Miller Lite and Blue Moon on the other). You buy beers by the pint ($3 for domestic, $4 for specialty) and pour them yourself. You can purchase as little as one beer, or throw down a bunch of cash for a big group of friends. There's a little display on the table tap that tells you how much beer you have left on your order.
"If you're not good at pouring beer, you don't have to be scared," Flanders said. "It comes out slow enough so that you don't get a lot of foam. It's very minimal so that you're not wasting beer."
Flanders said one of her partners first saw the tables in Las Vegas. The two at Tapz were purchased and shipped from Ireland. The tap tables can be reserved for birthday parties and sporting events, though the Super Bowl is already booked.
The rest: While not a true "dive" bar, Cabaret felt like it had some history. Tapz feels more modern, with tasteful art on the walls and a more subdued feel. A popcorn machine dispenses free snacks, and food options include standard fare like frozen pizza, boneless wings and cheese sticks.
The specials: Tapz offers $4 bloody Marys, $3 Cuervo shots and $2 domestic draws all day on Mondays (beer specials don't extend to the tables). Monday and Tuesday also feature a two-for-one late-night happy hour from 11 p.m.-1 a.m. On Wednesdays, get $3 Captain Morgan drinks, $2 domestic draws and $3 root down shots from 9 p.m.-midnight. On Thirsty Thursdays a $5 mug of beer comes with $1 refills. And from 4-6 p.m. Monday through Friday, you can get two-for-one drink tokens you can save for another visit.
Last call Over the past year, 86th Street has added some unique bars, and Tapz fits right in with its DIY drinking devices. Check it out for the novelty, but stay for the cold beer and good prices.
Find it: 8450 Hickman Road, Clive
Hours: 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Monday through Thursday; 3 p.m.-2 a.m. Friday and Saturday