We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

The Busted Lift

Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Get directions
Address: 180 Main St, Dubuque, IA 52001-7629
Phone Number:
+1 563-584-9712

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 19 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 7
  • 9
    Very good
  • 2
  • 0
  • 1
Just like Ireland

Stopped in for a couple of pints with Friends. They have a large selection of draft beer and coctails. The service was great and bartender talkative. The Patrons look like they... read more

Reviewed 26 February 2017
Dubuque, IA
via mobile
Add Photo Write a Review

19 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Showing 19: English reviews
Dubuque, IA
Level Contributor
193 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 February 2017 via mobile

Stopped in for a couple of pints with Friends. They have a large selection of draft beer and coctails. The service was great and bartender talkative. The Patrons look like they could be at any bar in Ireland. Rustic nonpolished building , bathrooms and bar. Yes, I'm coming back.

Thank Goodscout
Dubuque, Iowa
Level Contributor
310 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 December 2016 via mobile

Offering a great selection of beers on tap and Irish whiskey (including the best, Red Breast), this feels like a real Irish pub. With an Italian restaurant upstairs (that's owned by a true Irishman) it's great for food and drink. There are often eclectic bands playing after 9pm, but often Irish and Celtic bands are hosted. Tonight was Ballyheigue, but... More 

Thank Robert F
Level Contributor
33 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 March 2016

Always a lively bar, a hidden jem. Locals love it. Great beer, cider selection. You want a taste of Dubuque check out this bar, limestone basement setting, candles, good music. One of a kind.

1 Thank Lisa W
United States
Level Contributor
56 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 October 2015 via mobile

If being underground with no view is your cup of tea this place is for you. It smells of mold or mildew. I have allergies and was miserable. Drinks OK but music is far out hippy stuff that no one had heard of. Sounded like a snake charmer. What a dud. Oh and when the music starts plan to quit... More 

3 Thank SunshineYes
Galena, Illinois
Level Contributor
380 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 October 2015 via mobile

We stopped in to grab a drink and to socialize. They had a very nice selection of both local and regional craft beers. The server was very helpful in the selection process. We didn't go into the back room but it appears they had games include billiards and darts.

Thank Burns57777
United States
Level Contributor
48 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 August 2015

An unusual entry to an unusual place. You enter through Vinni Vanuchi's restaurant, and immediately go down the stairs into the basement. It is all limestone and a bit cave-like, but neat. They often have live music and on Wednesdays, an open-mike night. September 2015 looks to be a good month of great music, check it out on Saturdays, [esp.... More 

2 Thank 1whoknowsT
Omaha, Nebraska
Level Contributor
18 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 May 2015

The list of places to enjoy life in Dubuque does not seem long. This is by far the best place we found. It's easy to miss the door, so be sure to look closely. It's below other less interesting places.

Thank j_jamesh
Level Contributor
177 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 September 2014

Easy entrance from one end, street level. Other end, descend unmarked stairway from another bar/restaurant. Laid back place with regulars rotating daily. Basement with rock walls, pool table, long bar with plenty of quality beers. Also an outside, covered seating area facing the Dubuque Marina. When busy 2nd bar opens to handle all the micks (Irish bar). Plenty of bartenders,... More 

1 Thank C H E
Level Contributor
136 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 May 2014

Below Vinny's restaurant, kind of a secret entrance leads you into the basement with stone walls and a long bar. Very popular place, many beers on tap. They also serve Russian Mules in real copper cups, and are very good. Yes it's in a basement. Lots of things going on here. Definitely for the under 50 crowd, more like under... More 

1 Thank gritz71
Anamosa, Iowa
Level Contributor
117 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 November 2012

Don't go here if you're looking for a nice night out with friends. This is more of a scroungy place to hand with girls/guys and drink, play pool, and listen to music.

2 Thank MikeandCarrie

Travellers who viewed The Busted Lift also viewed


Been to The Busted Lift? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from The Busted Lift staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?