The bar space at 8980 Hickman Road in Clive has had many identities. Over the years it’s been known as Iguana Jakes, Diesel, Bogie’s, Speezy’s and now, as of Aug. 1, the Flying Moose. And here’s to hoping that this latest incarnation can bring some longevity to the neighborhood.
We arrived at Flying Moose at about 8 p.m. on a Saturday night and approached the bearded bartender for a drink. I asked for a Red Stripe to no avail. I then asked for my usual backup beer, a Stella Artois. The bartender shook his head. We were not off to a great start. He boasted that the bar carries five local beers on tap, which definitely is impressive and laudable. But none happened to be akin to my usual lager-style beers. I settled for a bottle of Bud Light, which with a $1 off drink special ran me $2.50. My drinking partner followed suit and asked for a Coors Light.
We peered around at the surroundings, not much different than its previous identity. A horseshoe-shaped bar faces a recessed area for a pool table and foosball table. Around it sit large bar-height tables, and against and elevated wall sit oversized, half-circle VIP-style booths and a few more tables. An area at the back of the room houses a whole bevy of arcade-style games, including darts, Silverstrike, Buck Hunter, Power Put, Golden Tee Live and two ticket-redemption games.
In addition, a large board for a game called Drink-O, a spin-off of Plinko, is played hourly on Friday and Saturday nights by a lucky patron. It’s used to select the drink special for the hour. We watched as a newly minted regular dropped a disc, observed it jostle around and land in a slot for $8 local pitchers. Had we taken advantage of the special, we would have had the opportunity to choose beers from Olde Main, Millstream, Raccoon River Brewing Co. and Court Avenue Brewing Co. The mugs behind the bar are ready to reward those willing to stay loyal to the “drink local” mentality; $50 gets patrons a T-shirt and $1 off mugs of tap beer with their mug club. In the continued spirit of keeping it local, table tents boasted that Flying Moose serves Pasquale’s frozen pizzas, which are made in Humboldt.
At 8:30 p.m. there were about 10 drinking in the bar excluding our table; by 9:10 p.m. that number increased to 25. It’s clear that Flying Moose has either retained customers from Speezy’s or quickly grown its own fan base. And it’s that fan base that largely selects the vibe of Flying Moose, as its wall-mounted TouchTunes jukebox varies from alternative to country to R&B .
But for those who find the style of tunes inconsequential and who are looking for a neighborhood hangout that supports and appreciates local brews, Flying Moose will happily provide a home base.
Find it: 8980 Hickman Road, Clive
Hours: 3 p.m.-2 a.m. daily
Info: 249-9275, theflyingmoose.com