- 1960 Grand Ave., West Des Moines, IA, 50265
- Overall User Rating:
- (8 ratings)
- Bar: 11 a.m.-2 a.m. daily; Kitchen: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
- Official Web Site:
October 15, 2008
The look: I was excited to be walking into a bar that originated in my hometown of Kearney, Neb. I'm not sure I got a slice of Kearney (I'm not even sure there is such a thing), but the Chicken Coop is a unique place with its own style: walls of wood planks and sheet metal, a bar that sports chicken wire and plenty of hi-def TVs tuned to sports. "We're not high-end, but we're not bottom of the barrel," owner Ken Beister said. "We're right in the middle."
The crowd: The staff was plenty friendly when we stopped in. Ken and his wife, Dawn, spoke to me like an old friend, as they both sat at the bar off-duty for the night. Ken said the usual age range for the bar is 25 to 45, which was right where the Wednesday night crowd fell. While sports fans make up the bulk of the crowd (on my visit a Cubs game drew a full house), Ken said families are also regulars. Fridays and Saturdays are busier early on, before the younger crowd heads off to the nightclubs. College football is a big draw, and the bar gets Nebraska games on satellite.
The two drinks: Ken had bartender Jaime Dunbar mix me up a "chicken dropping" shot for the first round. This layered mix of peach schnapps, orange juice and Jagermeister hits your throat with all the strength of the Jager, but slides down smooth with the sweet mix of orange and peach. Next up was something a little stronger, a concoction invented at the bar - a walleye shot. Goldschlager and Jack Daniels combine in this drink, which I'd recommend only for fans of either liquor.
The grub: I stopped in for 45-cent wing night, but knew I wouldn't be up to the task of finishing the 10-wing minimum order. So, I opted for the pub pickles (fried pickles), which arrived piping hot and had a delicious beer-batter crust. The Chicken Coop has a full menu, available until 10 p.m. most days and 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays, so there's no shortage of selection to choose from.
The verdict: A good place to catch a game or start the night out, the Chicken Coop is also a place you can kick back with friends and waste the night away. Your call.