The Madeleine Brand Show is a daily, two-hour program that looks at news and culture through the lens of Southern California.
Hosted by Madeleine Brand
Arts & Entertainment

The story of the Baghdad Country Club

The Baghdad Country Club by Josh Bearman.
The Baghdad Country Club by Josh Bearman.

Listen to story

Download this story 8MB

During the bloodiest years of the Iraq insurgency, one entrepreneur set out to create an oasis where people could kick back and get a drink. He called it the Baghdad Country Club and it was a place where officials, diplomats and contractors could meet over a few beers.

The bar was started by a businessman named James. He doesn't give his last name because he worries his past selling alcohol could hurt his relations with some of his current partners in Iraq.

Nestled within the military protected Green Zone, the Baghdad Country Club served food, had a patio, and even a weapons check where patrons dropped off their guns and grenades before entering.

Josh Bearman tells the story of this small watering hole and how it was eventually shut down by Green Zone officials.


Josh Bearman is a journalist and he wrote about the Baghdad Country Club for the online magazine, The Atavist.