July 2, 2015

Flat Tire Lounge in Madrid, Iowa

Flat Tire Lounge exterior day

photo by: Flat Tire Lounge

Flat Tire Lounge is in an old Quonset hut originally used by the railroad. It now features a new 800-square-foot deck.

A pint of beer after a summer afternoon bike ride? Yes, please.

Flat Tire Lounge in Madrid, Iowa, can deliver just that. This bike-friendly bar opened in 2011 as the vision of a group of local friends.

For biking enthusiasts, its location can’t be beat. The bar is set less than 12 feet off the High Trestle Trail, a 25-mile-long paved trail that was built on a former railroad bed. The High Trestle Bridge, a 1/2-mile-long bridge that opened in April 2011, spans the Des Moines River just 3 miles to the west.

But check out Flat Tire Lounge’s building: The bar operates out of an old Quonset hut, a type of prefabricated, semi-circular structure made of corrugated galvanized steel. These structures were first manufactured during World War II.

Flat Tire Lounge crowd 2

photo by: Flat Tire Lounge

The bar countertop is made of concrete and fragments of wine bottles.

Flat Tire Lounge excited patron

photo by: Flat Tire Lounge

Located 12 feet from a recreational trail, Flat Tire Lounge is a popular watering hole for cyclists.

This particular hut is at least 45 years old and was originally used by the railroad back when the train ran through town. It was later turned into a grain supply store, and then a storage building for a local electrical company.

Four years ago, it began its new life as a bar. Flat Tire Lounge’s owners cleaned out and remodeled the interior, hanging bikes from the walls and crafting a bar countertop with concrete and fragments of wine bottles. They also added an 800-square-foot deck to the outside. And yes, there’s plenty of bike parking and a pump in case your tires are a little low.

Flat Tire Lounge crowd

photo by: Flat Tire Lounge

Flat Tire Lounge hosts a number of concerts and events, like the popular Full Moon Ride and various charity rides.

Checked your tire pressure? Strapped on your helmet? Here’s what you need to know before you go:

Location: 304 S. Madison St., Madrid, IA 50156

Hours: Monday-Wednesday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Thursday, 11 a.m.-midnight; Friday & Saturday, 8 a.m.-2 a.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m.-10 p.m.

Don’t Miss: The Full Moon Ride is coming up this weekend. Grab your bike and explore the High Trestle Trail by moonlight.

What You’re Having: There are a number of beers on tap, including Fat Tire and Boulevard. But don’t miss the daily specials from 3 p.m.-6 p.m. Hungry? The Frontier Shack operates a food truck outside the bar serving classics like pizzas, hot dogs, and poutine.

Best Foursquare Review: “Great place for a cold beer after a bike ride.”

Lauren Walser is the Los Angeles-based field editor of Preservation magazine. She enjoys writing and thinking about art, architecture, and public space, and hopes to one day restore her very own Arts and Crafts-style bungalow.

URGENT: Contact your Senators asking them to pass the Route 66 National Historic Trail Designation Act before 2019!

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