The coronavirus pandemic has caused the closure of lots of local businesses, but we're happy to report that downtown Iowa City has a new addition!

Back in late September, Blue Moose Tap House, located at 211 Iowa Avenue in Iowa City, closed its doors for good. According to the Daily Iowan, the business decided against renewing their lease because there was too much live music competition in the area. Now another new business has replaced Blue Moose, and it has officially opened for business.

Yesterday, Elray's Live & Dive was finally able to open after some delays that were caused by COVID-19. A new article from the Des Moines Register says that they were originally scheduled to open their doors back in April. The bar and music venue celebrated their grand opening with live performances from country singer Tawnya Reynolds, who you may recognize from season 4 of the NBC series 'The Voice,' and singer/songwriter Charity Byars. Both women are set to take the stage again tonight and tomorrow, with Tawnya on at 6 p.m. and Charity on at 10 p.m. both nights. You can get ticket information HERE.

The interior of the venue apparently looks much different than before. The Des Moines Register says:

"Not only are there plastic barriers between bar stools and tables, as well as brand new speakers and televisions, but the wood once covering the walls has been pulled away to expose brick, and the stairwell against the east wall has been removed." 

They have also added another exit, restained the bar top, and updated the men's bathroom. Renovations are still underway on the second floor and in the area of the back stage, but the owner would also like to eventually put in an entrance from the back alley and have an outdoor patio on the roof.

Elray's Live & Dive is open Monday through Saturday from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. and Sunday from 2 p.m. to midnight. To check out a calendar of their upcoming events, click HERE.

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