Raising the bar in Indianola–Mojo’s

Raising the bar in Indianola--Mojo's

by Sara Cowden and Mike Mook

There is a challenge this May Term and it has nothing to do with waking up at 8 a.m. and hiking to the top of Wallace Hall for a May Term class. This challenge takes lots of will power, planning and physical endurance. It’s not a marathon, it’s not a triathlon, in fact it takes place at a bar right here in Indianola … it’s The Mojo’s challenge.

The Mojo’s Challenge is something that less then 10 people have accomplished. It consists of drinking 35 different types of bottled drinks in two bar days. All of the drinks are at Happy Hour prices as well, so the cost isn’t the challenging part. While one doesn’t get college credit for this activity, if one completes the Mojo’s challenge he receives a t-shirt and his name on a plaque.

Mojo’s has been open for three years. Brian Monday, a 1993 Simpson graduate, and Aaron Kennedy are not only co-owners of the bar but longtime friends as well. Mojo’s employs seven people and is active in the Indianola community, sponsoring events, donating and raising money for causes like the local humane society.

Mojo’s is also a responsible establishment, which has never had its alcohol license revoked, always checks IDs and has very few problems with fights, since the employees of Mojo’s are told to watch for situations and deal with them before they get out of hand. Also, at Mojo’s the bartenders always have the option of cutting off people who have had too much to drink.

In the past three years the owners of Mojo’s have made a number of changes to improve the experience their bar has to offer. Renovating, changing personnel, installing a DJ booth with computerized music, new nightly specials and playing better and more diverse music have all helped establish Mojo’s as a popular bar in Indianola.

“We have a definite backbone of regular customers which gives the bar more of a family atmosphere … we made it a place where people want to hang out,” said Monday.

Also during May Term, Mojo’s has additional drink specials with $4 all you can drink Monday through Friday. During May Term the owners also plan on creating a beach on the dance floor and possibly throwing a Toga Party. They also emphasized that they are always open to new and fun ideas, as long as they are legal.

Apart from renovations and drink specials Mojo’s offers many other things, which Monday and Kennedy hope will create an atmosphere for people to enjoy. There is more space than other bars in town. They allow cigar smoking in their establishment unlike many bars. For those who do not enjoy the smell of smoke they also have recently added a clean air machine. According to the owners, all of these factors create a place which is comfortable and lends itself to creating a personable atmosphere.

The owner’s of Mojo’s said Simpson students make up about fifty percent of the bar’s business. They say that they have never had any problems with Simpson students in the past and do not anticipate having any in the future. In fact, with the close proximity to campus and the low prices many Simpson students have started choosing Mojo’s over other bars in town.

“Sunday night you can bring in your own meat and they will put it on the grill for you while you drink, they also have a big screen TV if you want to watch a game …there are better beer specials, more pool tables, less crowded, better bathroom locations and the weekend starts on Wednesday and $4 all-you-can drink is a dream come true,” said senior Jason Niggemeyer.

Monday said that Simpson students are great customers and are actually pretty good about tipping the bartenders. He said that 10 percent is a good amount to tip a bartender since a lot of time they are working for minimum wage and really depend on tips as part of their income.

Apart from alcohol Mojo’s also offers some food options for bar goers. They have frozen pizzas, sandwiches and cheese bread in case people get hungry. Mojo’s also offers diversity in the kinds of beer it has on tap. Currently Mojo’s has Bud Light, Fosters, Dos Equis, Miller, Boulevard and Budweiser. They also rotate out beers once in a while as well.

Some of the crazy happenings at Mojo’s have included dancing on the bar, stripping and streaking.

Monday said the largest tab for an individual in one night was $150 and the largest ever for a regular group was around $800. With all the improvements and specials offered during May Term the owners of Mojo’s said they are looking at their best May Term ever.