Finding a place to grab a drink on a Sunday night that’s not like a date between you, your drinking comrade and the bartender can be a challenge. But at GoodSons in Beaverdale we found a lively crowd and great drink specials.
9:15 p.m.: We walk in to loud rock music and 12 people populating the bar area. Choosing between the mostly-full L-shaped bar and high-top tables near the action, we decide to occupy one of the three tables. Looking up at the chalkboard specials menu, we discover Sunday happy hour specials run all day and all night.
9:20 p.m.: After a day in the sun, I was looking for something refreshing. I opted for a Shock Top Lemon Shandy draw, while my companion ordered a Goose Island IPA draw. The happy hour drink special (which runs every day 11 a.m.-6 p.m.) is $2.50 domestics and $3.50 imports. Though Shock Top is brewed in St. Louis and Goose Island in Chicago, they’re $3.50 each. Geography aside, still a good deal.
9:30 p.m.: At the high-top table next to us, a guy and two women who appear to be new friends (based on their friending of each other on Facebook while I was at the bar, says my companion) are having a random conversation that can only happen after a Sunday funday. The 20something man is talking about how gross eating is. He’s eaten sandwiches today.
9:31 p.m.: The music stops. I didn’t realize the volume was cranked up until the absence of Oingo Boingo filled my ears. Now that it’s quieter, we can hear that our neighboring table is discussing eating placenta. This is slightly different from sandwiches.
9:35 p.m.: We now notice the chalk artists at the bar. One man is drawing a very detailed eyeball. Another man intently draws ... something.
9:45 p.m.: Between the chalkboard artists is a gentleman who really likes the song, “Possum Kingdom.” He likes it so much he’s singing along, loudly. Luckily, he is better than the actual singer of this song.
9:48 p.m.: My companion and I note the strategic placement of the four TVs around the bar’s interior. One, in the larger, currently empty room, is hung over a stone fireplace. The placement makes it possible for anyone who wished to watch the baseball game to be able to see it from any of the dozen or so tables. Half are with four chairs, the others line the wall with a wooden bench on one side. Another TV is over the bar and another on a perpendicular wall. Unless you wanted to watch the view on Beaver Avenue, you’re set, sports fans.
9:50 p.m.: DIY Karaoke Guy adds air drumming to his musical accompaniment of “Complain” by Kings X. Apparently DIY Karaoke Guy is a man of many talents, including a slightly racy drawing of a naked woman’s torso, including the special parts.
9:56 p.m.: We have now entered into the Beatles portion of the touchscreen jukebox playlist. These guys must be spending a fortune, as I haven’t seen anyone else drop money into the machine.
10:04 p.m.: This is more of a sports-watching, chalk- drawing or eating bar. And though we missed the food — the kitchen closed at 9 the night we went — Foursquare users say the panini are fantastic. There are a couple games tucked in the corner. We decide to play Silver Strike bowling instead of Golden Tee golf or photo hunt.
10:10 p.m.: A new arrival sidles up to the bar, and the bartender greets him by name. This is a very “Cheers”-like bar. He requests the TV be turned to the Speed channel.
10:15 p.m.: DIY Karaoke Guy is back at the jukebox. He’s promising to play “the greatest vocal performance of all time.” What will it be? The suspense goes on for a good five minutes while he hunts.
10:20 p.m.: Not to be put in a box, DIY Karaoke Guy has selected “Don’t Cry” by Etta James. We decide to stay for another drink. When I tell the bartender that I’m not married to having another draft, she rattles off a cadre of great Iowa beers they serve, including Madhouse and Peace Tree. I decide on a bottle of Peace Tree Blonde Fatale, $3.50, which she serves with a pint glass and a fresh orange wedge.
10:28 p.m: “Sunday Kind of Love” plays, and I notice the crowd has grown to include more patrons, with a wide variance of ages and clothing styles. There are also four groups of people out on the spacious patio now, a spot I’ve frequently seen busy with early evening cyclists when driving by.
10:35 p.m.: I check Foursquare to see if there are any must-do items before we hit the road. All of the tips are positive and complimentary of the staff.
GoodSons is a place that people use gratuitous exclamation points to describe. We finish our beers and leave, but we’ll return to visit the spacious patio and friendly vibe of this Beaverdale watering hole.
Where: 2815 Beaver Ave., Suite 102
Hours: 11 a.m.-2 a.m. daily
Info: 255-1912, goodsonsbeaverdale.com