As soon as you walk through the front doors of The Diving Elk, you’ll be warmly greeted by our staff and our ambiance. Feel relaxed and ready to enjoy great food and drinks to match. With 18 craft beers on tap, handcrafted cocktails, and exceptional pub food, we know you’ll find something special at The Diving Elk that will keep you coming back again and again.
And as for the name…well, our name pays homage to a piece of Sioux City history. Before the turn of the 20th century, W.H. Barnes of Sioux City, Iowa, saw elk for the first time and became fascinated by the way they naturally jumped over any obstacle in their way. Barnes built a slight incline that he slowly trained his elk to ascend and then leap from. Their first jumps were a mere five feet high, but by raising the incline incrementally, the elk soon reached twenty feet. By 1903, the troupe was jumping from a forty-foot tower into a tank only sixteen feet across by six foot deep and headlining traveling shows as the nationally known “The Famous Diving Elks.”
“I did not realize what a sensation the elk would create, as I have put in so much time training them and raising the elevation foot by foot that I have become, like the elks, used to it. But I have since been told thousands of times that it is one of the most wonderful feats oeuvre accomplished with animals.” – W.H. Barnes