Fat Tony's Sports Tap: Everyone's Neighborhood Bar

Co-owner Matt Mauro

Not long ago, in a small corner of Des Moines just south of Principal Park, there was a neighborhood bar with an identity crisis. This establishment had been home to many bars for several decades. But when two brothers opened Fat Tony’s Sports Tap in March of 2010, the neighborhood – and soon all of Des Moines – agreed that this little bar had finally found its destiny.

Urban 515 is proud to have Fat Tony’s as part of our local alliance. They’re the definition of a friendly neighborhood sports bar. Owners John and Matt Mauro grew up in the area, but they didn’t realize until recently their dream of opening their own bar. Both have kept their day jobs as real estate brokers, but after the 9 to 5 grind, Fat Tony’s has become their personal labor of love.

As soon as you walk in to Fat Tony’s, you feel at home. The inside has a cozy, intimate atmosphere with rich wood paneling and

Shed-turned-bar on the patio

big screen TVs to broadcast the game. Outside is a large patio with covered seating, more TVs and a shed-turned-bar so no one has to venture too far for a refill.

Fat Tony's staff

The best part about this bar, however, is the food (we can’t elaborate too much on the great-looking staff). If you hadn’t guessed that the Mauro brothers were Italian, you would have a pretty good idea of it by the time you filled up your plate. These guys believe that a buffet of free food should be part of the sports bar experience. Whether its chili dogs on NFL Mondays, pasta on Sundays or a Happy Hour buffet on Friday afternoons, you’re guaranteed to get your fill of free, hearty food catered from places right in the area.

If you’re looking for a place to tailgate, you’ve come to the right bar. The owners’ relative, Jim Mauro, played for the Iowa Hawkeyes during their famous 1985 season. During game days you can watch the Hawkeyes on every TV in the place. They also favor Notre Dame, the Cubs and the Yankees. Tailgating at Fat Tony’s includes bags tournaments, an open grill, free wings, nachos and hot dogs, and of course plenty of beer and happy fans.

Finally, a visit to Fat Tony’s wouldn’t be complete without trying a signature Fat Tony’s shot. It includes Bailey’s and coffee-flavored tequila, and it ends up tasting a lot like chocolate milk.

Staff taking a Fat Tony's shot

So next time you want a friendly bar atmosphere that makes you feel like you’re part of the neighborhood, visit Fat Tony’s Sports Tap. And when you bring your Urban Card, you’ll get 20% off your entire drink tab! They’re located at 1500 SE 1st St in Des Moines. Hours are Monday through Friday, 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 10 to 2 a.m. They can be reached at 515-288-3088.

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