Brandon Wagoner dreamed of owning a Chicago Cubs-themed bar and realized that dream in 2020 when he brought Brick & Ivy Rooftop to his hometown of Altoona, where he graduated from Southeast Polk High School in 2005. .
“I’ve always wanted a fun place to go and enjoy dinner, shows, and cold drinks all in one place,” Wagoner said.
This dream started to come true when he found a property that just needed a little renovation to create the image he had in mind. The building was originally one story, so with the help of owner Mark Hanrahan, they designed and created the second story and rooftop patio alongside the Hanrahan construction team. Wagoner was able to use his architectural background from college throughout the process.
But opening in 2020 came with its challenges.
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“We were supposed to open in January 2020, but with construction delays, opening day fell on St. Patrick’s Day 2020,” Wagoner said. “Instead of opening, we learned that all restaurants in Iowa were closed. As we juggled the highs and lows and unpredictability of the pandemic, we feel very lucky to have a business in which people love to come and our regular guests and employees who have stayed with us and supported us as we continue the journey.
The laid back atmosphere, drink selection and great food work together to create a space that has become very popular in a short time. Altoona resident Katie Wood recalls when they opened: “People would drive by and think they were the only restaurant in Altoona that was open, but it was actually cars parked and waiting for their sidewalk. . There have been a few occasions where they ran out of food due to the massive amount of orders. I finally entered for the first time a few months ago.
Wood was impressed with what she saw.
“It’s a great place to watch a game and there are seats on the roof. There is a stool at the end of the bar dedicated to a deceased local man and friend of the owner.”
Wagoner wants Brick & Ivy to be known for having the best wings, burgers and sandwiches. “We season and smoke our wings on site. Our burgers are a mixed brisket patty, chosen for its flavor and uniqueness to the region.”
He says their most popular items are the Parmesan Turkey Club Sandwich, Wings, Santa Fe Burger, Brick & Ivy Burger, and Salmon & Avocado Salad.
“For large private parties or catering events, we work with each group individually to create an event-specific menu with very few limitations,” Wagoner said. “Some of the most popular include taco bars, burger bars, and pasta buffets.”
He describes the atmosphere at Brick & Ivy as very welcoming. “Our main dining room is filled with 80% bar height tables with extremely comfortable bar stools. We also offer low decks for large parties and eight cabins on the main level. The lower level bar seats 12 or more and has a walkway to our terrace for outdoor seating. We have 23 televisions on the lower level so customers never miss a game.
Address: 400 34th Ave. SW, Altoona
Call: (515) 381-7990
Distance from downtown Des Moines: 11 miles
Hours: 3pm-10pm Tuesday-Thursday, 11am-midnight Friday and Saturday, 11am-8pm Sunday.
The roof: The rooftop is accessible by stairs and elevator and offers low indoor and outdoor seating, “as well as room for guests to sit at the bar and watch a game upstairs on one of 13 TVs “Wagoner said. “We have four garage doors that open and let fresh air in even on a hot summer day.” The roof can accommodate around 70 people inside and another 50 outside on the terrace. Although the space can be rented for events, it is open to the public every evening, there are no private events. “The views and relaxed atmosphere provide guests with a unique place to enjoy a drink or dinner on the patio,” Wagoner said.
Drinks: Brick and Ivy offers guests a full bar with a wide range of liquor from pits to premium options, specialty drinks, wines and beers. “We offer local beers on tap as well as seasonal craft beers from local breweries across the state,” Wagoner said. “Our specialty drink menu includes a variety of mules, sangrias and mixed drinks made with vodka, rum and tequila.”
Kids“Brick & Ivy is a family restaurant,” Wagoner said. “We offer $5 kids meals that come with a drink. Our daily clientele tends to be more adult, but children are definitely welcome.
Events“We host live music twice or more a month, featuring local artists and bands. We are currently hosting Sunday Fundays with live music and rotating food and drink promotions,” said Wagoner: “We host a sack league on our patio every Wednesday night during the spring and summer. This league offers competitive and social divisions, so everyone can join in the weekly fun starting at 6 p.m. The best way to follow their events is through their Facebook page or website.