In mid July we were driving down the Illinois side of the Mississippi River and came upon the bridge to Sabula, IA. We'd never been there, so we decided to check it out. After you cross a seriously scary bridge - it was one of those really old iron ones where you can SEE THE WATER through it and it was so narrow I had to scream when we met a big truck - you arrive in Iowa's only island city, Sabula. It was a little early for lunch, so we stopped in at Flippers for a drink.
Finding great little bars is one of the best parts of a road trip. Sometimes you stop in a place and it's really a locals bar and you feel a little out of place. Sometimes the place is full of tourists and you can't get a feel for the local area at all. And sometimes you find a place like Flippers.
Owners Deb and Don Thayer opened Flippers a couple of years ago. Deb's dad, Al Mangler (that's him below) was just opening up when we arrived. He was the mayor of Sabula for 12 years and is a great spokesman for the area. Friendly and funny, he kept us entertained with some great stories. And you have to love a bartender who says "is that too strong for you?" about your drink. What a guy.
Flippers is located right on the river at 407 Pearl Street in Sabula. Summers are pretty busy with the boating crowd and they have lots of specials and a popular Sunday Funday with $1.50 beers and $2.25 mixers.
One of the best things about Flippers, though, is that they are always willing to drive you home if you've had a bit too much fun. Love a place that cares about the safety of their patrons.
Al's granddaughter, Angie, came in to bartend - she also played a few hands with the guys that were there for Tuesday Texas Hold 'Em.
And what can I say - the view from Flippers is pretty awesome.
Two hours later, we finally had to get back on the road. So make sure you stop in at those local taverns when you're out and about. You never know when you'll find a gem like Flippers. I know if we're ever in Sabula, IA, again, that's where we'll head.
Let us know about your favorite place and we'll try to stop in there too!
407 Pearl Street
Check out their Facebook page here.