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Niko's Guide to Iowa City Sports Bars

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by Niko, City Correspondent

If you are an Iowa alumnus or fan coming back to Iowa City for a sporting event, it can be disorienting to find that many of your old favorite bars and restaurants have closed or changed names.  BHGP has brought in Niko, cousin of Saturday Night Live’s New York culture critic Stefon, to help reacquaint you with the Iowa bar scene.

If you like Hawkeye sports, and leather, there is no better place to start than B.J. Palmstrong’s, on Gilbert.  Club Owner Trans-McCaffery will get you ready for game time with drinks, dancing and verbal abuse.  This club has everything: Perentzes1, jail-gating2, Barry Garta3, and all the free corn syrup you can drink.

KOK-eyed has been in IC forever, but club owner Kelly O’Karlos still knows how to put on a show.  This club has everything: human burrito lifts4, young Herkey vs. old Herkey knife fights, Les Jepsen elbowing things and Artur Wojdat on the wheels of steel.  Also on Gilbert.Kokeyed_medium

If you like unpleasant surprises, you'll love Stanziballs, also on Gilbert.  Club owner Sticky Ranzi will ply you with free drinks, show you a good time, then, when you least expect it, club you over the head with a field hockey stick, call you a communist and throw you in the alley.


LICK represents Todd Lickliter’s big comeback to Iowa City.  It features Butler monkey butlers5, nyquilitos6, and the slowest drone-trance music in America.  On Gilbert.

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After a few changes of ownership, Gabe’s Ho-asis is back and better than ever. Club owner Ab-norm Parker has thought of everything: Sri Masons7, Templeton Pies8, Bluderwürsten9, and Reggie Evans punching people in the groin.

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Last but not least, if you like kinky, and I mean really kinky, look no further than Wrasslin’.  Club owner Dan Gable provides a cozy atmosphere, good Iowa fare, and twenty screens of nothing but collegiate wrestling.  Also on Gilbert.

1 Persian Ferentzes
2 That thing where you try to land hoops on prisoners’ heads.
3 America’s foremost Gary Barta impersonator.
4 That thing where you lift Mexican midgets above your head and if you don’t drop them you win a free burrito.
5 That thing where you dress up monkeys in blue sweaters and have them serve drinks.
6 Mojitos made with nyquil and ambien.
7 Sri Lankan Sally Mason impersonators driving tiny cars.
8 That thing where you fill a pie with a mixture of karo syrup and Templeton Rye.
9 Blood sausage hand-made by Lisa Bluder

[Author's note: this whole article is a blatant rip-off/tribute to the brilliant SNL skits by Bill Hader.  Please check them out and, if you're into the whole Twitter thing, @snlStefon is pretty funny]