VIP- If you haven’t figured out where I go on Wednesday nights…

A dive bar, the local watering hole, the only bar I go to in town, the Best Shittiest Bar in Forest City (stole from the show Shameless), whatever you call it, without a doubt there’s no place like the VIP Lounge. Nestled on Highway 69, this establishment has been serving the wide variety of locals and surrounding population that make up the town of Forest City, IA. Long time regulars, the hard working class working at the motorhome plant a mile down the road, office professionals, local business owners, young, middle aged, old, almost literally everyone.
When you first enter, there’s a feeling not much has changed about this bar since Linda Gannon opened 37 years ago and honestly I think that’s one of the major reasons why all who frequent here love it. For me personally I love how the bar is sunken down so you are at eye level with the bartender which makes it more unique. This has given it more of a personal touch and more of a “at home” and relaxed feel.
Speaking of home, Linda makes the best home cooked meals around! The food is the bomb!!!!! Every night there is a spread out on the table which is at free will donation. I recommend $5.00 minimum or more depending on how much you take. Don’t be stingy, Linda makes delicious meals and works hard on them so donate well!! On Wednesday nights there has been a variety of: pork roast, ham, roast beef, barbeque ribs, meat loaf, home made mac n cheese, fried chicken, etc with potatoes fixed in all variety of ways. Linda’s mashed potatoes and gravy are the best I’ve ever had. Also paired well with veggies and garlic bread. (BTW Thursday is Mexican night, come in on those nights too for another great meal!)
Pictures of spread with my plate of meat loaf:
Did I mention Linda bakes? Every day as a matter of fact! There is always some type of cookies, bars or pies on the bar to accompany dinner. Her specialty is picture below: home made toffee! Before I tired Linda’s I didn’t think I liked it but hers is like crack in dessert form!
Obviously when you come to the VIP, you get a VIP drink: A good pour at a good price! It’s hard to stay for just one with good food, atmosphere and a bartender like Linda! (We can’t forget Madonna or Carolyn who also serve you!)
There’s also this nice little space: What would the VIP Lounge be without the feel of a VIP space?
Every bar needs something that no other bar has; here at the VIP that something is Seizure shots! Even if you don’t like Bloody Marys, like myself, you will love these shots of awesome-ness!!!
What’s any experience at the VIP complete without the main lady herself, Linda?!? I’ve heard her say many times, “This place is like home to many people”. So true. 90% of all who enter are more like friends and family members to Linda rather than customers. Forest City is such a close knit community where this is possible but it’s also not too small where everyone is in everyone’s business at all times. It sounds simple and stupid but this town is just the right size and the VIP fits right into that niche. Then again what do I know, right? All I know is since I started coming here, there is no other place that can compare. I don’t want to get all mushy and sentimental, we have fun down here and Linda knows how to make everyone have a good time.
I will conclude with a sign she has above the bar: “Everyone brings joy to this bar! Some when they enter and others when they leave!” Well someone has left and I can NOW play some tunes on the jukebox! An 80’s playlist it is….
Thank you Linda for letting me take a picture of you!

One thought on “VIP- If you haven’t figured out where I go on Wednesday nights…

  1. Susan Benson

    Well written!! I use to hang out there all the time, now my kids do!! Wow what a place, hasn’t changed much over the years!!

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