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The scene

BY DI STAFF | 2015 EDITION

There is a lifestyle interwoven with the prominent bar-hopping scene in Iowa City. That lifestyle involves good music — and not just club tunes, either.

One decades-old music venue is the Mill, 120 E. Burlington St. The Mill’s stage area is classy and comfortable. Unlike most places in Iowa City, seating away from the bar is close to guaranteed. It has hosted many different kinds of bands of varying genres, but in terms of atmosphere, it is perfect for live jazz shows and open-mike nights.

People interested in sitting at the bar can check out Blue Moose Tap House, though the main stage is in the back. Blue Moose, 211 Iowa Ave., has plenty of room for crowds of music lovers. Don’t forget to check out the upstairs for DJ dance parties.

Gabe’s, 330 E. Washington St., matches Blue Moose’s room blow-for-blow but with the advantage of having the bar in the same room as the show. Gabe’s — along with its sister venue, the Yacht Club, 13 S. Linn St. — hosts bands almost every night of the week as well as an annual Battle of the Bands series.

Overall, these venues are less crowded, have excellent drink menus, and hearing loss is less of a risk. They are places to go to enjoy music — aside from the Top-40 songs played at every bar — giving locals a taste of individualism in music.


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