8:50 p.m.: Saturday night seems to be off to an ominous start when the GPS leads us straight to a Kmart. However, we soon find Euro Bar nestled into the front of Motel Relax.
8:56 p.m.: We can hear the European-style dance music pounding as we enter the bar. The first thing I notice is a sunken dance floor in the center of the room complete with an impressive light show. A few people are scattered around the room, but no one dares to go anywhere near the dance floor. Despite a lack of movers and shakers, the DJ is having the time of his life playing poppy European dance tunes and flashing the lights.
9 p.m.: We head to the bar and encounter our first roadblock when we learn that the bar only takes cash. Luckily, my friends and I scrounge up enough cash to pay for our domestic beers and mixed drinks.
9:05 p.m.: Even though the bar is mostly empty, the tables in the main room all seem to be decorated for someone’s birthday. A few people sit alone texting, but the birthday girl is nowhere to be found. We don’t want to crash the party, so we head to the empty billiards room.
9:08 p.m.: We have the green and black billiards room to ourselves. There’s an arcade machine inviting me to test the strength of my punches. No one is feeling tough enough to try it out.
9:10 p.m.: I notice a Happy New Year’s sign on one of the walls. Is it possible no one’s been in this section of the bar since January?
9:23 p.m.: A man in a black T-shirt keeps wandering back to the billiards room to stare out the window at the parking lot. I wonder if there’s a connection between him and the elusive birthday girl. I don’t know , but I hope we’ll get to see him confess his feelings for the birthday girl later in the night.
9:37 p.m.: We venture back into the main bar area. A few more people have arrived and the DJ hasn’t slowed down at all. Instead of huddling as far away from the dance floor as possible, people are now using it as a shortcut between the tables and the bar. This is progress.
9:40 p.m.: One of the regulars asks us if this is our first time here.
9:43 p.m.: A few of the birthday tables are now filled, but I can’t tell if any of the occupants is the guest of honor. The guy in the black T-shirt is still making trips to the window and looking out at the parking lot.
9:47 p.m.: We make our way back to the still-empty billiards room. The music is at the perfect volume in here. Even though I can’t understand any of the lyrics, it’s started to grow on me.
9:50 p.m.: A guy in a white baseball cap comes into the billiards room to look around. He points toward the main room of the bar and tells us, “Hey, the party’s in there.”
9:51 p.m.: We decide to check out this party. The bar area is filled up a little more, but there’s still no dancing.
10:03 p.m.: A group of girls in high heels and curls comes through the door. It looks like the party we were promised is getting closer.
10:05 p.m.: This is definitely the kind of bar that starts out quiet and suddenly comes alive at 10 p.m. Except for the DJ. No matter the size of the crowd, he’s going to treat Euro Bar like it’s a Los Angeles night club hosting Kim Kardashian’s birthday party.
10:15 p.m.: The transformation is impressive: The main bar area is now filled and people are creeping closer and closer to the dance floor.
10:16 p.m.: The billiards room is still completely empty. Apparently people don’t go to Euro Bar on a Saturday night to play pool or test out their Silver Strike Bowling skills.
10:30 p.m.: We peek back into the main bar area. The birthday girl has now arrived and is wearing a pink sash. It looks like the party we were promised is under way.
Find it: 7625 Hickman Road, Urbandale
Hours: 5 p.m.-2 a.m. Thursday through Sunday
Info: Search Euro Bar on Facebook