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Des Moines, Iowa


People's To Close

Geoff Wood

I didn't write this but I thought it was worth mentioning. I first read it in a letter to the editor of the Des Moines Register but it also appeared on their website which sometimes works I added a few editorial comments below

An Open Letter to the Iowa State University Family -

It is with a heavy heart that I am announcing today that People’s Bar & Grill and Lumpy’s will be closing at our current home at the corner of Welch Ave & Lincoln Way after 18 years at the premises. Our lease on the property has expired and the owners of the building have decided to open their own restaurant in our location.

It has been an honor to serve you all, over the years. There are so many wonderful stories that have come out of this building. Many of you had your first experience with live music at our place. Saw your “favorite band of all-time”(1) here or experienced one of those “never to be forgotten intimate shows”(1) here. Just as I did, many of you have met your wives or husbands at People’s or had your first date with your girlfriend or boyfriend here. Heck, theoretically; being open 18 years now, some of you could have been conceived here. Many of you had one of those unforgettable evenings that will go down in history with your buddies at reunion times(1) or had one of those crazy nights at Lumpy’s that you are still trying to forget(1). Many of you have formed life-long friendships over a mug at FAC(1) or hosted an epic graduation party(2) here for your friends. And many of you have spent a good portion of your student loans here. I even remember a guy who told his parents that People’s was a bookstore every time his credit card bill showed up at home. Anyway, we’ve all had lots of good times over the years at the corner of Welch & Lincoln Way and we are looking forward to finding our (and your) new home away from home at our new destination.

It comes with a bit of irony, that we are opening our new location (People’s Court) at the corner of 3rd and Court in downtown Des Moines (in the old Nacho Mama’s Building) a few weeks prior to the closing of the original People’s. Believe me, this was in no way a planned event. We have been working on People’s in Des Moines for almost 2 years now, from the original idea to the last couple of weeks of finishing touches now, making sure that everything in our Des Moines location is up to your standards and beyond. Our new venue in Downtown Des Moines has a capacity of 900, state of the art sound and lighting system, a piano bar, 100 beers, and all those little “touches of People’s”(3) that you have grown to love over the years, including the staff. No, not just new people that act like “People’s people”, but some of the same actual staff that you have known and loved for years. People’s in Des Moines is also going to play host as a central location to watch all Cyclone athletic events(4) and, as always, hosting your favorite concerts.

But back to Ames, we aren’t abandoning you, we are just temporarily “homeless”. We are currently negotiating on several properties in Campustown and will be looking forward to reopening this fall at our new location and as always, providing Ames & Iowa State University with the best in live music fun as we have for the past 2 decades. Ames is our home. This is where everything started for us and we aren’t about to neglect the Cyclone Community that has been so wonderful to us for so many years.

It has been a great run at the corner of Welch & Lincoln Way. We have hosted many up and coming bands who made it to the big time. We filmed an MTV music video here. We’ve played host to many famous celebrities on their way through Ames. We have had many surprise guests sit-in with our bands (who could forget the night that Tone Loc did the Funky Cold Medina with Dazy Head Mazy). The amazing bands that have graced our stage are too numerous to mention (over 5,000 shows) but there is a list being generated that will be posted on our website (5) to help jog your memories. We have succeeded in capturing some special moments of history, in music and in life that will never be able to be repeated.

But, instead of making our last few weeks at our present location into a funeral, we will be turning it into a “Celebration of Music”. The whole month of May, We will be bringing you some of your favorite bands of the past and present with our Final Hurrah on Memorial Day Weekend. The Sundogs were the first band to ever play @ People’s and The Nadas, the band that has played the most gig’s here ever and who’s name has become synonymous with the name People’s will be the last, on Sunday May 27. Please keep tabs on this celebration at our website as we will be announcing the full schedule over the next couple of weeks along w/ some special web-tributes and a blog that you will be able to participate in. (6)

So, After 18 years 9 months 5 days 4 hours and 30 minutes – @ Midnight on May 31, 2007 – We will be pouring our final drink and toasting you, our customers.

Thank You for All the Memories and God Bless.

Tom L. Zmolek
Founding Father

People’s Bar & GrillAnd Lumpy’s

1. Yep, applies to me. 2. Me with about a dozen other people (and I only knew half of them) 3. I bet it will have Hawkeye crap in it though, which is really unfortunate. 4. Maybe it won't have Hawkeye crap! (5)This will never happen. 6. This did not happen.