The same venue that hosts weddings and upscale dinners also welcomes established comedians and rock bands, making First Avenue Club a go-to destination for all manner of events. Inside, a full-service bar overflows with 12 draft beers, 40 bottled beers, and a wealth of mixed drinks. Further behind the scenes, the kitchen fires up hearty entrees such as roast pork loin and baked cod.
Although most patrons won't meet the eponymous Carl or Ernie of Carl & Ernie's Good Time Pub and Grub, they will certainly meet the pub's most famous resident: its life-sized Clydesdale statue. The horse looks out from the corner of the bar, watching games of darts and serving as a beacon to the bar's long allegiance with Budweiser. But Budweiser isn't the pub's only beer. Bartenders serve up a full range of drinks and drafts, which can be paired with classic pub food. The nightly specials include pizza, tacos, and tenderloins. Guests can snack on these foods as they watch the Hawkeyes play, sing some karaoke, or sit on the patio to estimate the returns on selling umbrellas that double as sundials.
A community pillar since 1956, the Iowa City Community Theatre has enlisted local dramatists to take to the stage for the fourth-wall-leaning musical farce The Drowsy Chaperone . A heartfelt and humorous examination of the interplay of life and art, the play depicts a devoted fan of musical theater as he literally slips into the world of his favorite cast album. As the comedic musical unfolds, audiences find themselves thoroughly bemused by the main character's constant footnoting of theatrical trivia, and English students flip frantically through encyclopedias to cite his sources. A nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering a love of theater in the community, ICCT reserves a spot for everybody—onstage, in the audience, or masked behind the subterranean organ.