Have You Seen this Hidden Bar in Eastern Iowa? [PHOTOS]
I was spending some time in Cedar Rapids over the weekend to celebrate a friend's birthday and we kind of stumbled into what might be the coolest hidden bar I've ever been to. Have you ever seen the show, Mad Men?
It stars Jon Hamm who plays Don Draper, a creative director of a Manhattan advertising firm. This bar/lounge reminded me of something straight out of that TV show. The hidden bar my friends and I stumbled upon was called R.G Books.
When you first show up at the R.G Books entrance, it looks a lot more like a bookstore than a bar. The front entrance has a ton of books on the bookshelves and a two-person chair on the left side of the front door.
It's not a very big entrance room either. I don't know the exact dimensions but if I had to guess I'd put it somewhere around 10 feet long and 30 feet wide. If you're there looking for a bar and drive by too fast, you might straight-up miss the sign. Or if you see stacks of books on bookshelves you might think your GPS sent you to the wrong place.
Seconds after I took this photo, there was a young couple that looked to be in high school, who walked in the door with a plastic grocery bag full of books. It looked like they were trying to donate them or see if the R.G Books would take them off their hands.
They looked confused and weren't sure if they were in the right place or not. I told them "if you're looking for the bar it's past this door. They immediately said "Nope! We thought this was a bookstore." With the name of the lounge and all of the books you see out front, it makes total sense.
Once you open the front door, it can be pretty surprising what you end up walking into, if you don't know what to expect. I wasn't exactly sure where we were going, I was just along for the ride. You end up in this dimly lit, speakeasy-esque bar and lounge area. According to Dictionary, a speakeasy bar is a retro-style bar that became popular during the prohibition era.
There is a full side to sit down and lounge on the left side and on the right side, there are multiple couches for you and your group of friends to sit at. At the end of the lounge, there's a bar for you to belly up at. No one from our friend group had ever been there before and after walking, in there were a lot of pleasantly surprised faces. It feels like jumping back in time a little bit. It was really cool!
Did you know this hidden bar was in Cedar Rapids? Had it not been for my friend's birthday weekend, I'm not sure if I would've ever found this place. I don't frequent many bookstores and I doubt I would've ever stumbled my way into R.G Books. I'm certainly glad we did.