Grading Ames bar bathrooms


Lee Chinyama

Urinal in the men’s bathrooms at Paddys Irish Pub, Feb. 5.

Es Tas: C+

Es Tas Bar & Grill is a popular spot among Iowa State students for their late night tacos and cheap drink specials. If it’s your first time visiting, it may be challenging to locate the restrooms, as the men’s and women’s rooms are located on opposite sides of the bar.

Once you’re able to locate where to go, it doesn’t get much better. The restrooms are typically not the cleanest but fit the vibe of the late-night dive bar.

“It’s definitely not the cleanest of bathrooms, but I think it’s about what you expect when you first walk into Es Tas,” said Jordan Wells, a junior studying public relations.

The wooden stall doors and walls can be seen covered from top to bottom with countless, and often vulgar, handmade carvings. The bathrooms only contain one sink, without soap, and no longer contains a mirror.

BNC Fieldhouse: B+

When it comes to Welch Avenue bathrooms, BNC Fieldhouse is about as good as it gets, and that’s not saying a lot given that the bathroom usually doesn’t have soap.

The multi-stall bathrooms are equipped with a double sink and overly powerful hand dryers. Overall, BNC ranks high on the list in terms of cleanliness and makes for one of the more pleasant, or least repulsive, bathroom experiences in Ames.

“I think it’s definitely one of the cleaner bathrooms we have in Ames, they really just need to get soap in there and it would be a lot better,” Joseph Johnson, a junior in marketing, said.

AJ’s Ultra Lounge: F

Despite its widespread popularity, the “Ultra Lounge” is certainly not the most glamorous of the Ames bars. The bathrooms, especially, are no exception.

The men’s and women’s restrooms located on the second floor do not have doors, which does not provide much privacy for bar goers. Not only do the bathroom entrances lack doors, but the stalls inside as well, which makes for a strange and often awkward experience for many.

It is truly a rarity that the sinks aren’t clogged or filled with empty drink cups, and what can almost be assumed, never contain a soap dispenser. Given the condition of what can barely be classified as a restroom, most AJ’s regulars will advise you to take care of your business before arriving for the night.

Mickey’s Irish Pub: B-

Mickey’s Irish Pub, popular among many junior and senior students, comes complete with a main floor, basement dance floor and outdoor patio. Although the pub wouldn’t necessarily be categorized as a classy establishment, the bathrooms are surprisingly better than one would suspect when first walking in.

Mickey’s has restrooms located on both the main level and basement. The main floor bathroom is about what you would expect from your typical pub restroom. Although quite small, it seems to remain relatively clean and is typically stocked with soap.

The basement restroom, however, is not the most pleasant. It is in dire need of a deep clean and maybe a few air fresheners as well. It is safe to say that if you’re in need of a bathroom when at Mickey’s, it’s in your best interest to head to the top floor.

Outlaws: B

The local county music bar is one of, if not the largest bar by size. The bathrooms, however, are quite the opposite. The upstairs bathroom in particular feels more like a broom closet than a restroom.

In the men’s room, urinals are jam-packed together to the point where you can find yourself brushing shoulders with the guy next to you, with no dividers to create separation or privacy. Despite the small size, the restrooms seem to remain relatively clean and tidy.

“It would be nice if the bathrooms had doors or some dividers up, but overall it’s pretty clean,” said Outlaws customer Slade Dalzell.

An additional bonus to the Outlaws restrooms is the comfort of knowing soap will be provided, which can be a rarity in many of the Ames Bars.