College Tour 2009 – Dubuque IA

Kelly goes to Clarke College for PT. We wanted the campus tour, so we walked down Clarke St. for two blocks and saw several dorms, all named after nuns, and a bigger building. That was it. No quad, bookstore, anything. Hey, whatever works.

Her rental house is across the street, and the house next door to hers was full of dudes cooking and drinking beer and throwing Baggo. Ah, I remember it well. She showed us around a bit, and we met her roommate who was sunbathing (or trying to – the wind was a big brisk for bikini weather.) Her roommate and our other contact, Jordan, begged out of lunch due to finals. So we headed off to lunch. First we drove down HUGE hills to Loras, where several friends has gone. It was a nice typical campus, more on the order of Grinnell. Clarke reminded me of IIT – utilitarian, all business – without the Mies buildings.

Kelly wanted to try the Star Brewery, but we did not know where it was. But using GOOGLE via text, she was able to call the place on the way there and get directions. You get there on 5th St (or the bridge on 3rd), not 6th as someone had said.

The Dubuque Star BreweryThe Star Brewery is along the Mississippi behind a dike. It used to be a brewery, but it closed several times, and the city saved it from being demolished and turned it into a tourist attraction and dining and retail center. Retail is still coming, not quite there. It may be a hard sell, being so far from town. Nearby is the Diamond Jo Casino, and a nice looking museum along the river.

You walk thru a series of halls with unfinished retail, and find a small museum, a wine shop with tastings, and an elevator. You take the elevator (we did the stairs) and are in the lobby of the restaurant. We were seated at two tables pushed together right by the window, where we could see the river and the train tracks, and watch the bridge open to let the barges go through. Way cool.

Bette and I split the Asian salad with shrimp. Kelly had a chicken breast breaded in buttermilk batter – she liked it. I had the Star Burger with wonderful sweet potato fries. Why don’t more places (like McDonald’s) have sweet potato fries? I had a couple of Fat Tires, and Bette a Stella Artois, and Kelly a Bud with Lime. I kind of expected a microbrewery, but the draft beer selection was merely average.

On the way out, we had to dodge the train – an actual train came by as we walked along the river, and stopped on the tracks, blocking the 5th St exit. So we found the bridge after getting lost in the Coast Guard station.

On the way back, we visited Jordan in the Mary Ben dorm, with a great view of Kelly’s house, dropped Kelly off, and headed home. Bye, Iowa.

Star Brewery – 600 Star Brewery Drive Suite 200 – Dubuque, IA

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