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Enterprise Journal

Cheap beer, genuine friends, and great times

Jun 26, 2020 07:22AM ● By Lindsey Falk

A few days ago, The Enterprise Journal posted an archive from 1975 announcing the grand opening of The Slaughter House tavern on the outskirts of St. Ansgar.

Unfortunately, I was too young to enjoy the three years of wild times that ensued in the building on the hill that was ran by the Pope brothers. And from the stories I’ve heard, it was where many memories were made… and some probably lost.

You can tell from the Facebook comments of the locals that were lucky enough to be young adults in the late ‘70s that The Slaughter House holds a special place in their hearts. On more than one occasion, I’ve sat and talked to Steve Pope, past owner of that establishment, as well as of the Enterprise Journal, about why it was so special.

Not surprisingly, it wasn’t because of the lavish décor, world class menu, or out of this world amenities. The place just had that certain “something.”

Steve has talked about documenting some of the stories from those golden days exactly 45 years ago, and I hope that he still plans on doing so. I’m sure he would change the names to protect the now innocent Saints from their guiltier past. Maybe he will utilize his pull at the Enterprise Journal to get his thoughts to paper (HINT, HINT).

There are a lot of Slaughter House alumni that still reside in Mitchell County. Those years had some of the biggest graduating classes from the area schools, and the drinking age was 18. Quite a combination for a popular watering hole to succeed! Some of them met their spouses there, several had their wedding celebrations there, and all of them enjoyed live music, greenies, and other weird stuff that I don’t care to know the meaning of.

They were young and they were free.

And that’s the kind of feeling I have when I think about my favorite bar when I was of a similar age. Lumpy’s was in the basement under People’s Bar and Grill on the corner of Welch and Lincoln Way in Ames. To call it a dive bar would be too kind. A complete dump would be more accurate.

But every time I went there, I knew I would find what I was looking for. Cheap beer, genuine friends, and great times that were priceless.

Just like The Slaughter House, Lumpy’s is now only a memory. I guess I’m old enough now to say that those were the “good old days.” That would be a lie.

They were way better than that!