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Locust Tap Loyalists Petition to Save Establishment

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DES MOINES, Iowa - Since the Locust Tap was shut down in December 2014 by the City of Des Moines for structural deficiencies, loyal patrons have gathered over social media hoping to see the iconic East Village bar reopen.

An online petition titled "Save the Locust Tap"  has 113 signatures so far, with supporters expressing their thoughts on a Facebook page, as well. But city officials say owner Kirk Blunck cannot reopen the bar until the damages discovered inside by a city inspection are repaired, and when the bar re-opened illegally in December against city order, officials say the state of Iowa revoked Blunck's liquor license.

The Locust Tap, located at 434 E. Locust St., is one of the most historic bars in Des Moines, operating as a pub since the 1930s. One patron, Brian Neugent, says it's become a symbol of unity in the community.

"This iconic bar stands for a lot more than whatever historical significance it has, which I am aware of," he said. "This cornerstone stands for unity. A breaking down of social barriers. Friendship. Networking. Was there some issues with structure inside? Yeah, but, it added to the character and nostalgia of the place. It is my true hope that the issues are addressed and the Tap can reopen as the hub that is was before. I miss it and I know fully that others do as well. It is a diamond in the rough."

Requests for comment from Blunck on the matter were not returned, but neighboring business owners say they have spotted construction crews in the building. City officials say they are unaware of an update on repairs of the building.


  • Ankeny Watcher

    Having seen the bar since the late 30’s, I think it is worth saving. But big business will prevail and it will become some meaningless “thing.”

  • Mike Cee

    It’s another blighted dump owned by slumlord Kirk Blunck who refuses to bring it up to even minimum safety code, which is his typical modus operandi. Both the bar and Kirk Blunck should be torn down and disposed of.

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