Nightlife and Dining

Sam Vander Forest

Ames is a true college town, and the nightlife and dining opportunities reflect that. Determined not only by its great academic scores, but also by tremendous professional opportunities and good scores in quality of life, Ames truly has a lot to offer its permanent residents and its college students. Let’s take a look at some of the recreational venues throughout Iowa State and Ames.

Top Music Venues in Ames

• DG’s Tap House (127 Main St., Ames)

• Charlie Yokes (2516 Lincoln Way, Ames)

• Bandshell Park (804 Kellogg Ave., Ames)

• Stomping Grounds (303 Welch Ave., Campustown)

• Café Milo (4800 Mortensen Road, West Ames)


Stephens Auditorium

Upcoming Events:

• David Koechner of Second City and Anchorman (April 12th)

• Bring It On: The Musical (April 24th)

• Mamma Mia! (May 4th)


Your Old Favorites With A New Look

AJ’s Ultra Lounge

2401 Chamberlain St., Campustown

Originally at 2518 Lincoln Way, AJ Singh’s Ultra Lounge used to be a single level establishment that tried to entertain two atmospheres. Now, AJ’s Ultra Lounge has moved just a few blocks away to Chamberlain. The move has allowed the space to better entertain the two atmospheres (one being relaxed and the other a club-like dance floor), by being a two-story establishment. The owner, AJ Singh, says the move was the best decision to accommodate his growing clientele and to provide a wider variety of entertainment.


Charlie Yokes

2518 Lincoln Way, Campustown

Seen as one of the best live music venues in Ames, Charlie Yokes has been a classic favorite of the college students and the permanent residents of Ames over the years. It remains an iconic name in Campustown despite the move out of the old space.

After Kingland Systems bought the space from their leaseholder, the owners looked to buy the space left vacant by AJ’s Ultra Lounge just a block down. Despite having to rebuild, the tenacity of the co-owners is being reflected in the life of their iconic bar, Charlie Yokes.


The New Faces In Town

Portobello Road

122 Welch Ave., Campustown

Named loosely after the famous flea market in London, Portobello Road brings a unique mixture of things both old and new to the college students of Ames. Opened in 2012, the store has found designers and vendors from local Iowa as well as across the United States to supply both vintage and new designs in both clothing and home décor.


The Blue Owl Bar

223 Welch Ave., Campustown

Amidst the lively and vibrant nightlife of Campustown, a new, more relaxed bar has opened up on Welch. Its name is the Blue Owl Bar. It has filled the void in Campustown of places to go to just have a drink and relax, by moving into the building where Golden Wok used to be. The atmosphere and aesthetic that comes with the Blue Owl is something truly stands out in Campustown, and will hopefully be greatly appreciated.


Plus 39 Restaurant, Market and Cantina

2640 Stange Road Ames, IA

One of the newest and most talked about establishments in Ames is not just an Italian restaurant. It is the culmination of a restaurant, a fresh market, and a cantina all under one roof. +39 embodies the true tradition of Italian cuisine while adding its own modern flare from the four owners who designed each aspect of it.