Alcohol isn't illegal to consume in Cedar Rapids. But if it were, and we suffered under the same laws of the Prohibition era, a newly opened bar in the Newbo District is where I would go to enjoy my illegal libations.

But the drinks are all on the up and up at the recently opened Ideal Theater and Bar. And if the establishment looks historic, that's because it is! It is located in a building that is over 100 years old, at 213 16th Ave. SE. In 2014 the building was purchased and eventually developed into the Ideal Social Hall, according to the Little Village Magazine. The building was sold again the in the spring of this year to a new group led by bar manager Kenyon Thorp. Keeping many of the old, historic aesthetics intact, the new bar features an amazing wooden bar that runs the length of the venue!

Facebook via Ideal Theater and Bar
Facebook via Ideal Theater and Bar

The old-school feel and look will also be represented in the entertainment featured at Ideal. Thorp told the Little Village Magazine that she wants to feature 'high-quality music.' The venue features a large stage that will be perfect for featuring live music of all kinds. And get this. Ideal is open every day of the week, from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m.!

Some friends and I experienced Ideal for ourselves this past weekend and came away impressed. It truly isn't like any other establishment in town! I can see it becoming the place to go see a great live jazz trio or blues band. The drinks weren't just 'mixed.' They were cocktails crafted to the highest standards. Congratulations to Kenyon Thorp and everyone at Ideal for creating a space that is uniquely Cedar Rapids!

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