Forbes has recently ranked Iowa City as number 4 on its list of “up-and-coming cultural centers of Eastern Iowa and Northern Missouri”. This growing Midwestern metropolis is a prime example of capitalism at its finest. With capitalism comes competition, and competition pits brother against brother. Iowa City residents witnessed this phenomenon firsthand last week when Confederate, the hot new bar on the south side of the Iowa City pedestrian mall, publicly declared a feud with the popular Union Bar.
“We started Confederate ‘cause we felt that some of our rights were being impeded on as bartenders,” says manager and self-proclaimed president of Confederate, Jeffrey Davis. “People come to Confederate because they want a back-to-basics approach in the bar scene. A much more patriotic approach to bar life than that damned Union Bar.”
The Confederate management is experimenting with a unique business model. The drinks are well priced, but the employees all volunteer to be there.
“They work a certain amount and then if they join military service, they maybe, just maybe might get some sort of pay. We might pay everyone 60% of what they’re worth after they’ve been working there for a while. It’s really a great and unique system that will benefit everyone,” says Alex Stephens, Confederate’s co-manager and self-proclaimed vice president.
“Confederate isn’t in Iowa City,” adds Jeff Davis, although no public official can corroborate this statement. Confederate challenged small local bar, Fort Sumpter, in a game of surprise beer pong, which resulted in a definite win for Confederate. This shocking victory upset many other bars, particularly those on the north side of town, and has resulted in a city-wide bar fight.
“We need to put an end to this,” says Abby Link, University of Iowa Student Body President. “It’s literally turning Brother against Brother. As in the bar, Brothers, is fighting with itself.”
The bars have been at each other’s’ throats since last Tuesday, with Union and Confederate leading the fight and many smaller bars taking sides. The brawl has no end in sight. Four shots and seven beers ago, Iowa City was a peaceful college town. It is now a city divided. Thirsty Thursday? More like bloodthirsty Thursday.
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