Karaoke bar Billy Joe’s Lounge closing after 30 years
Published on February 17th, 2014 | by Joe Lawler
On Feb. 6, 1984 Billy Joe’s Pitcher Show opened, offering second-run movies and something completely new to the Des Moines metro area: karaoke. The movie theater closed in 2009, and the bar briefly closed before continuing on under new ownership as Billy Joe’s Lounge. Billy Joe’s, 1701 25th St., West Des Moines, hosts karaoke seven nights a week.
The bar will be closing on Sunday. The bar will host its likely karaoke through Saturday and will serve breakfast Saturday and Sunday.
The bar is owned by Al Bickel, who purchased Billy Joe’s in 2009 for original owner Billy Bryant. Bickel said wanting to spend more time with family and other business opportunities meant he had less time to spend at the bar.
“I’ve done it for five years, and it’s definitely something I always wanted to do, but it’s coming to the point where I don’t have as much time for Billy Joe’s, so I’m moving on to something different.
Bickel said he’s not sure what might move into the space next, but whatever it is won’t use the Billy Joe’s name. He plans to keep using it for a Billy Joe’s mobile karaoke service.