Blue Moose Tap House is the jack of all trades when it comes to Iowa City bars. While some bars in Iowa City attract a limited group of students, Blue Moose offers something for everyone. The patrons in the bar are as diverse as the student population at The University of Iowa.
Part of Blue Moose’s success is due to their concerts. The bar is one of the few drinking establishments in Iowa City that doubles as a music venue, and among those it is the largest with two stages. A few nights a week the bar hosts a variety of music acts with the ability to entertain over 200 people at the upstairs stage, and almost 600 people at the downstairs stage. The venue has made a point of putting on “all-ages” shows that end at 10 p.m. so underage students are able to enter the bar and see a concert, even though they cannot legally drink. Tickets for their concerts can be found at ticketfly.com
On a regular night the bar offers a fun environment with vintage decorations. There is a fully functioning juke box, and the walls are decorated with vintage music posters and handbills. The bar also has a retro basketball game and funhouse mirrors that keep patrons entertained for hours. There are also large flat-screen televisions for sports fans to watch a game while they socialize. The decor of Blue Moose is also unique with their homemade tables made from Templeton Rye Whiskey Barrels, and their recycled keg barstools.
Blue Moose is definitely a beer lovers bar with 24 different beers on tap. There are a number of different specials for every night of the week, but the most popular are the half priced boots on Thursdays. The boots are 3 liters of a beer of your choice. They also offer mini boot specials on Friday. If you are going to try and attempt to drink a full boot on your own I highly suggest you do not have anything else to drink that night! I once tried to drink a whole boot on a dare after a few whiskey and cokes, and don’t remember anything after I finished half the boot… But do order a boot and share it with a few friends, it is a great way to save money.
Even though there are many great qualities about Blue Moose there are a few things to watch out for. Friends of mine have complained that the bartenders have refused to give them a glass of water, and told them they had to pay for bottled water instead. I don’t think I have ever had this problem, but I have heard it enough times to believe that it happens occasionally. Also if you have a tab, make sure you pay attention to the number of drinks your order throughout the night and how much they cost. I have heard of instances where people have been wrongfully charged on their bills for extra drinks they did not order. Obviously these problems are not exclusive to Blue Moose or Iowa City bars, it is just something I have heard and urge everyone to look out for when they are out at any bar.