Those words kept coming out of my mouth all evening as we enjoyed our first peek (and more often since then) of the CLINTON STREET SOCIAL CLUB in downtown Iowa City. (Formerly One Eyed Jake's.)
If you remember One Eyed Jake's...THIS AIN'T IT! It's a far cry from THAT type of establishment!
From the minute we climbed the stairs to the sounds of mellow jazz...to the view of wonderful old exposed brick walls...to the laid-back vibe and attentive service...We felt like we had stumbled upon a 1940s "Speak Easy", or a private club in New Orleans.
The restaurant/bar occupies both the second and third floors of one of the most desirable locations in downtown Iowa City, and the views from the large windows on both floors are awesome. Directly across the street from the Pentacrest, the Clinton Street Social Club is a great vantage point for people watching below, or for simply admiring the birds-eye view of the campus.
French doors separate the second floor dining/bar area from a true "billiards" parlor, where the single table is the focus of the room. It lends a feeling of intimacy and mystery to the space. In fact, I keep glancing over to see if Minnesota Fats, in spats and a Fedora, is lining up his next shot. A cool vibe, indeed.
If you're over 40 and you've wondered where to go for a relaxing and AFFORDABLE night out...a place with great music played at a decibel level that will allow you to have an intelligent conversation while you listen, The Clinton Street Social Club is the place to go in downtown Iowa City.
Owner Brian Vogel is a personable, hands-on owner who oversees every aspect of the club. And it shows! From the welcoming greeting as you climb the stairs, to the service from waiters and bartenders...Brian makes sure his staff is on point. No matter which floor you claim as your special "hangout"...and whether you choose to sit at the bar, or at a table covered with a crisp white cloth...you will soon discover what a "gem" this place is.
|Duck Sausage Corn Dogs? YOU BET!|
The food is CRAZY...and CRAZY GOOD! Where else would you expect to find Duck Sausage Corn Dogs...or Bacon Popcorn...or Goat Sliders??? You have to try EVERYTHING on the menu. From the "small plates" bar food, to the ala carte entrees and unique side dishes...try them all! (And the reasonable prices allow you to do just that.) This menu is made for sharing!
All I can say is...GO. You won't be disappointed. Just don't tell the "younger generation" about this place. We "mature" folks finally have a place to call our own!!! Maybe we can talk Brian into "carding" folks at the door...to make sure they are OLD enough to join us. (Just remember to leave two seats open at the second floor bar...we'll be there soon!)