Bars Inside the University Tap.

Inside the University Tap.

A place for those who love bike trails and hockey

Published on April 10th, 2014 | by Mackensie Smith

From the basic black bar stools sidled up to the wooden University Tap bar there are no specific, visible clues for what night might be best to stop in.

Because the University Tap is the kind of everyman’s bar that could be in everytown America it doesn’t shift when the summer shines with sweat or when the winter weighs down. It’s steady and malleable to what you make of it.

My drinking partner and I were met outside in the middle of our short sidewalk conversation by a middle-aged blonde who said there was no time to be wasted and to hurry ourselves inside.

We were met by affable bartender, Becky Stacy, who gave the run down the specials that happen all week, every week.

“Happy hour is every Monday through Friday from 3 to 7 p.m.” Stacy rattled off. “That includes $0.50 off all drinks, $2.50 domestics, $2.00 domestic draws and $2.50 well drinks.”

Sharp shot shooters rejoice for $3 Fireball shots Wednesday and Friday. Wednesday also hosts $3 Boulevard Wheat Beer.

Peace Tree Red Rambler, Founders Dirty Bastard and Shiner Bock are just a few of the 12 handles currently on tap.

“Some weeks are busier than others, it just depends on what’s going on,” Stacy said of the bar that sometimes has live music and often has an alternating menu from everything to large soft tacos to cavatelli.

Oh, and breakfast. Stop in Friday through Sunday to a plate of hearty hashbrowns, eggs and bacon while sitting next to the hard-hitting Des Moines Buccaneers hockey players.

“We have the hockey boys come in and they’ll order a breakfast sandwich as a starter,” Stacy laughed.

New bar, old tricks: The University Tap location has been under the new ownership of Simon Goheen and Mike McCoy for almost a year. As seen in the black and white crest above the door, the two men love hockey, enjoy good beer and cycling. Hence, the bar is dotted with hockey memorabilia and certainly bike friendly.

The Greenbelt bike trail, which runs behind the bar’s Clive front, is speeding full when the slush finally evaporates. The door to the bar is only a quick parking lot cycle away.

Before the puck sticks swept the bar ice, the space was T.R.’s Sports Bar; the University Tap clung close to the neighborhood, classic feel.

A pool table claims the back corner court, which two young men in faux Ray-Bans proceeded to claim for the evening. Oversized wood blocks were stacked tall on a table ready for a rousing, beer-infused game of Jenga. Electronic games, like Golden Tee Live, and a glowing modern jukebox stayed silent, just bright, as most patrons were bar talking and game watching.

Let us not forget the golden popcorn machine waiting to make you thirstier.

The Food Channel took up the large TV screen above a darkened fireplace before it was switched to a sought-after baseball game. All screens were set at a low-level of volume so bar conversation, such as that of guessing the bartender’s age was audible. All in good fun, all betwixt people who seemed like they became friends at the same bar 15 years ago

The University Tap always has potential energy. Looking for the best night here? Grab 10 to 20 friends of any age, get a $6 pitcher, turn Jenga into a drinking game and make it one to remember … or forget.

University Tap

Find it: 7500 University Ave. Suite 1, Clive.

Hours: 11 a.m.-close Monday through Thursday; 8 a.m.-close Friday through Sunday

Info: 515-225-9985

About the Author

Mackensie is a contributor to Juice.

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