Marking one of the first closures of our relatively new wave of craft cocktail bars around town, Central announced earlier this month that they would be closing their downtown bar as of New Year's Day, 2013 with limited hours leading up to January 1. This means you officially have three more nights to drink at this diamond in the rough of downtown's so-called "ass-hole alley," the much improved but still slightly douchey stretch of late-night bars, restaurants, and Voodoo doughnuts that runs Ankeny between SW 2nd and 3rd. Central has survived for just over two years, and has been one of my favorite establishments for their beautiful and cozy space that feels like a bar removed from the drunken antics of its downtown locale and for their outstanding cocktail program that has been as an essential part of my own craft drink education. I will miss them dearly, though proprietor Dustin Knox promises to open sometime next year on the East side of the river, which he expects to be more supportive of a drink program of such caliber.

Until then, however, Central will be open for normal hours (4 pm - 2 am) today Saturday, December 29, as well as New Year's Eve. Grab one of their spectacular cocktails on your way to or from dinner or whatever you have planned, and help say goodbye to one of the most special watering holes in town.

Goodbye, dear friend

Central is located at 220 SW Ankeny.