For some Iowa barflies, losing the Bombay Bicycle Club (BBC for short) feels like the end of an era. But as a musician and a BBC regular, Chris Ranallo saw the opportunity to build a new brand.
So when he heard that BBC founders Gus Ramirez, Jeremy Mahler and Mike Caudle were looking to sell, Ranallo jumped at the opportunity.
“It’s pretty nostalgic, actually,” he says. “It’s been a lot of different bars over the years and it has a really good reputation, but we wanted to give it a fresh start.”
Ranallo and co-owners Fix Brown, Micah Wagner and Doug Severidt wanted to breathe new life into the space by rebranding it as The Point, which officially opened earlier this month.
“We saw the need to create an identity,” he says. “BBC did a great job of going after that rock-bar feel, but they had trouble getting a different batch of people that would come in and test the place out.”
So far, The Point seems to have succeeded. In comparison to the BBC, the bar feels a little more clean-cut, but maintains the comfortable and friendly atmosphere that the space is known for.
“We kind of wanted The Point to have a neighborhood bar feel, but with a little more ambiance,” Ranallo says. “You can go in there and have anything from a regular beer to a top-shelf drink.”
The first thing you’ll notice is the new bar area. Ranallo and his team completely gutted the old, multicolored wood fixture and replaced it with a sleek concrete slab to belly up to. The space now features large TVs, providing a laid-back spot to catch the game, and renovated bathrooms that steer the venue away from its punk-inspired roots. Plus, the all-season patio is still up and running, and works as a spacious place for beer pong or bags.
If you’re one of the many Tacopocalypse fans in the Des Moines area, don’t worry: Sam Auen is still running the kitchen. That means everything from his farmers market-famous enchiladas to the turkey, gravy and cranberry-packed holiday burrito will make appearances on the menu. The food selection is fluid, but try stopping in on Sundays at 11 a.m. for Brunchpocalypse, featuring Korean chicken and waffles, breakfast nachos and a $10 bottomless mimosa bar.
Beyond great food and a solid selection of beers on tap, Ranallo hopes to bring in new customers with creative and engaging events. Although he and his fellow co-owners play in a band called Decoy, they didn’t want to pigeonhole the space as a rock-bar.
Instead, The Point will hold a singer-songwriter night every Monday, and other live performances will be announced via the bar’s Facebook page.
Otherwise, the bar will host events like Wine Wednesdays and a multiweek bags tournament.
The Point isn’t a finished product. The offerings will evolve with the customer base. Right now, Ranallo just wants to build a loyal fan base.
“People should keep their eyes open, because we’re going to keep on making additions and work to make the place as nice as we can,” he says. “Right now we’re just working on building our following. It’s literally been one or two people at a time, but people have really been supportive.”
Find it: 8410 Hickman Road, Clive
Hours: 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Monday, Tuesday and Saturday; 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Wednesday-Friday and Sunday