The Lift

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The LiftThe Lift
3 Ratings
The LiftThe Lift

Type: Bar, Eatery

180 Main St
Dubuque, Iowa, 52001-7629
United States

(563) 584-9712 | map

Bar in the lower level.

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Ratings: 3 |  Reviews: 3
Reviews by mynie:
Photo of mynie
4.29/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Now known as "The Lift," and while there's still a restaurant on top there's no formal connection to the bar. There's no signage and so it's really easy to miss.

Meanwhile, the bar's focus on craft beer has grown. They now have over a dozen taps, and 6-8 of those are from Iowa. There's almost always some Toppling Goliath on tap, too. It's really a great, old school beer bar.


Things have changed. The Busted Lift is now known as "1800 Main," and it's got a fancy restaurant up on top of it. There are two bars: the one downstairs is still a peaceful cave while the one upstairs is pretty much like any other bar in any other slightly upperclass restaurant in Iowa. Big difference, though, is that the tap selection is actually pretty darn good. Four Millstreams, Hacker, and some low weight Belgians.

Easily the best place for a beer in Dubuque.

A nice joint in the middle of a bunch of other nice joints. At nights, it can get full of some hipsters. I don't know why; there's no universities anywhere for hundreds of miles. But, since there's also not any youth hang out, this is where they congregate. There's good music, too.

The upstairs, recently opened and featuring a limted menu of tasty food, has a very constructed feel to it. Like, a focus group feel. There's a marked difference downstairs--it feels like you're in an honest-to-god 100 year old pub, because you are.

Very good selection of rotating taps, including the stout from Iowa City's Old Capital. 20 oz pint of the good stuff runs you 3.50, which is damn good for the area.

Service was hit or miss. The bartenders were nice, but the managers were kind of creepy.


For some reason, the website fails to mention that feature a full collection of taps featuring Iowa beers from Millstream and Old Captial in Iowa City. Both places make good beer.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of bashiba
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

This review is for the downstairs bar, the upstairs is now a nice Italian Restaurant.

The Bar was very cool downstairs Dive style place, dimly lit was decorated for Halloween very nicely with all the cobwebs fitting in nicely with the stone walls and sort of seedy look.

Great Draft Selection, was very happy to find some Pyraat on Draft, along with some decent local brews, a couple nice German's and a few other Belgians.

The atmosphere was cool with everyone being very friendly and talkative and the bartender was very knowledgeable and personable.

Will definitely be back here when I'm in town.

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Photo of Wallstreet
3.65/5  rDev -12%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4

This is the bar (Now called 180 Main) I most frequent in Dubuque. It has a decent selection of beer, with aprox. 20 taps. The beer choice is spread out between light and dark selections, the majority being Light to medium ales. They also have local beers from Potosi, Millstream, and Goose Island brewing companies. They, also have some more expensive beers on tap that go for $7 for 12oz served in the proper glass.

The bar has an upstairs and a downstairs, the upstairs like an Irish pub and the downstairs more like a dive bar or speak easy. The former has a older demographic wile the younger people usually go down stairs. On Tuesday nights they hold a Jazz Night upstairs from 8PM to aprox 12AM, that allows anyone that can play an instrument decently a chance to play in the combo a bonus if you happen to be in Dubuque on a Tuesday.

[Edit] Some of the bartenders couldn't tell you about the beers they have on tap.

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The Lift in Dubuque, IA
Place rating: 4.15 out of 5 with 3 ratings