- 5500 Merle Hay Road, Johnston, IA, 50131
- Overall User Rating:
- (5 ratings)
- 11 a.m.-2 a.m. daily.
By Olivia G.H. Espinosa
Special to Metromix
September 17, 2008
Even though Joe's opened its doors within the last month, the new Johnston pub gives off a lived-in feel. The bar, in a strip mall space that used to be Tini's, has games galore and a table set up with freebie food (the good kind, like taquitos and burgers) during daily happy hours with $4.50 pitchers and $1.50 cans of beer.
After the bartender claimed a chilly day was making for a slow day, the bar picked up for a baseball game the evening we stopped in. We had no problems fitting in with our post-rec league sweats still on. My first impression was that many of the patrons would fit in at Tanner's or Bradley's, two other suburban bars owned by the duo of Bradley Lathrop and Mike Agne.
The two drinks
Bartender Lin-Z McCoy, 27, shook up her version of a caramel apple martini within seconds of putting her up to the challenge. "I had a bunch of girls who loved it at the last bar I worked at," McCoy said.
The super sweet and creamy cocktail is made from UV Cherry vodka, Buttershots, Apple Pucker, Midori and Bailey's Irish Cream. Our second drink was Joe's signature bloody Mary, which is tastefully set off by a splash of draft beer and the bar's secret spicy red mix.
After hearing about Joe's homemade pizza, which is actually imported across town from Tanner's, we were a bit disappointed with the limited topping selection (just two). Pizzas start at $7. We settled on the sausage and mushroom. The thin-crust cheesy pizza lived up to our expectations, but I wouldn't consider it worth a visit on its own. When the pub fills up, pizza is also available by the slice. And, check out the rotating happy hour eats.
Stop in for friendly chatter and a filling late-night snack. Or, fit in like the regulars by baking a casserole and participating in one of Joe's Saturday afternoon football potlucks.