Sam’s Bar & Grill, a beloved “hidden gem” hangout

sam's bar & grill

“Off the Menu” is an Altoona restaurant feature sponsored by Elder Corporation.

“Look beyond what you can see” doesn’t just apply to Timon in Lion King 1½ (a grossly underrated movie, by the way). It applies to us everyday consumers, who sometimes need a reminder to pay closer attention to local businesses like Sam’s Bar & Grill in Altoona.

Here’s what we mean by that.

When you look at Sam’s Bar & Grill from the outside, you’ll see a sports bar with a sweet patio, tucked away at the end of a quiet strip mall. It looks like a cool spot, but there’s nothing overly boastful about its appearance. You might ask yourself, “what’s so special about this place?”

To answer your question, we’ll point you back to Rafiki’s advice—”look beyond what you can see”—or at least what you can see from the parking lot. Take a step inside Sam’s Bar & Grill and see what the hype is all about.

Open the door and you’ll find a lively scene teeming with welcoming energy, amazing people, great food and drinks, and LOTS of fun.

And if you look even further, you’ll see something that you can’t find on a menu—welcoming Altoona hospitality.

Watch the video above to get a feel for the special, welcoming, and fun-loving atmosphere of Sam’s Bar & Grill in Altoona.

By definition, Sam’s Bar & Grill is a sports bar, but it’s so much more than that. There are a TON of ways to have fun here!

Let’s work up an appetite by checking out their entertainment and exciting events.

Watch the big game

Obviously, you can’t have a sports bar without…sports! Sam’s Bar & Grill undoubtedly has you covered in that regard. They’ve got walls of TVs, covering all the athletic action you can imagine, not to mention a sports memorabilia collection that’s practically museum-worthy!

Sing your heart out

One of Sam’s Bar & Grill’s most popular events is their karaoke—held every Friday at 9pm. It’s a total blast! Perform your best (or worst) rendition of your favorite tunes, watch others do the same, and definitely peer-pressure your friends to get on stage.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to be the next “American Idol” to bring down the house. You’ll get cheered on like you’re Kelly Clarkson, even if you don’t sound like her!

Bust a move to some live music

Does Sam’s Bar & Grill have live music? You bet. The Band SPAM frequents this establishment quite often, drawing a crowd that knows how to have a good time.

Test your wit and your luck

DJ trivia (held every Tuesday) and DJ bingo (held every Thursday) are also really popular here. You know the drill—show up and get ready to play!

Don’t forget the refreshments

We haven’t even mentioned the “Bar & Grill” part of Sam’s namesake yet, but we sure are excited to.

Sam’s Bar & Grill has an amazing lineup of classic bar food and fantastic drinks. Their food menu is definitely worth checking out. They’ve got great appetizers, sandwiches, burgers, pizzas, salads, pasta, soups…the list goes on and on. We’re getting hungry just thinking about it.

It goes without saying that they’ve got all sorts of refreshing options on their drink menu, too! Take your pick from a huge selection of tapped, bottled, domestic, and craft beers. Enjoy all your favorite cocktails. Sip some tasty wine and spritzers. And enjoy some fantastic hospitality!

Most importantly, enjoy the people & the atmosphere

Arguably, one of the most magnetic aspects of Sam’s Bar & Grill is something that you can’t even find on a menu or an events schedule. What is it? Their incredibly welcoming atmosphere.

Obviously, bar scenes can be unpredictable and even intimidating for plenty of people. It’s not uncommon to feel left out or nervous when visiting a new establishment. This is not the case at Sam’s Bar & Grill. In fact, it’s the total opposite here.

When you step into Sam’s Bar & Grill, you’ll be greeted with friendly smiles from patrons and staff alike. You’ll feel safe, welcomed, and included. You’ll be treated like a lifelong friend even if you’re a complete stranger.

In a way, Sam’s Bar & Grill is like Altoona itself—it’s filled with amazing people who genuinely care about how you’re doing.

That’s what truly makes this place so beloved. It’s what you’ll notice if you simply “look beyond what you can see” and step inside.

Thank you to Elder Corporation for sponsoring Off the Menu, the visitor’s guide to Altoona’s deliciously different dining spots! Elder Corporation literally lays the groundwork for some of the biggest excavation projects in Iowa. You can learn more about Elder Corp here.