Alfresco In Iowa
In Chicago, people love to dine outdoors. Maybe this is because the weather is awful for at least half the year, maybe there’s another reason, but they’re serious about. Indeed, they can be downright pretentious about it. Chicagoans like to call it “dining alfresco,” like they’re too good to simply be sitting outside. Please note “Chicago alfresco dining and drinking” from the Chicago Tribune’s Metromix website. “Alfresco” is everywhere.
On a recent trip back to Iowa, I discovered alfresco has reached west of the Mississippi River. Indeed, the small town I grew up in has just such an establishment.
Iowa, however, is a bit less pretentious than some of the rural ex-patriots that live in Chicago neighborhoods like Lincoln Park (yes, those Big 10 bar patrons have agrarian roots). This establishment takes a somewhat more traditional, even old world term for the outdoor seating.
Yes, in Iowa we still call it a beer garden.
Alas, without a foo-foo name like “alfresco,” we have to put up a fence and forgo the faux-thatch roof over the concrete. But remember, dear hipsters, PBR was a farmer’s beer long before your little art school hands ever popped a tab. (Or does the bartender pop the tab least your precious little hands get a hangnail?)
Welcome to the basics. An Oprah-sighting is not expected.