What do pizza, famous bridges, wine vending machines, ramen and food trucks have in common? They are all awesome things happening in or around Des Moines! (Des Moines is growing and changing by the minute. And, I love it!) Below are eight new Des Moines happenings that I’m keeping on my radar…and you should too.
Fong’s Pizza Opens In Ankeny
Fong’s Pizza opened its second location yesterday (April 28) in Ankeny. (The original location is in downtown Des Moines.) The new restaurant location will serve up the well-known Asian-inspired pizzas and will expand its menu to include new pasta entrees, rice dishes and over 80 beers on tap.
Three New Restaurants
Sam Auen, owner of Tacopocalypse, recently announced he’s opening three new restaurants. The three new restaurants include: Krunkwich Ramen House (currently open), Downtown Doughnuts (June 2015) and Crust Punks Pizza (opening is TBD). I’ve eaten at Tacopocayplse many times and I can’t wait to try Sam’s newest creations. Not only is Sam a brilliant chef that combines crazy flavors, he’s also a really good guy.
Square One DSM
The Greater Des Moines Partnership will open Square One DSM, a business accelerator, on May 1. According to the GDMP website, the new facility will be an “accelerator for local, high-potential companies that are past the incubation stage.” The facility will support entrepreneurs by providing a structured environment with mentors and a free working space.
40th Year of the Downtown Farmers’ Market
The Downtown Farmers’ Market will open on May 2 at 7:00 a.m. to celebrate its 40th year bringing local foods and goods to thousands of visitors. The Market spans nine city blocks in downtown Des Moines and supports nearly 300 local vendors. Approximately 20,000 people enjoy the Market each Saturday from May 2 through October 31.
Self-Serve Wine Bar
Della Viti is a new self-serve wine bar located in the former Norden Hall Rowhouse, which was moved to East Grand Avenue in the East Village. Not only is this new wine bar located in a historic rowhouse from 1894, but it’s home to two floors of wine “vending machines.” Wine-lovers purchase pre-pard cards and they swipe the cards at each station and are charge based on the wine selection and serving size. Servings come in three sizes: a 1.5 oz taste, a 2.75 oz partial glass, or a full 5 ounce pour.
Rooftop Patio Bar
3hundred Craft & Rooftop will open at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway and SW 3rd Street. The new establishment will open in a renovated space, which used to be home to the “Old Tavern Brewery” (many years ago). The new bar will encompass the 3rd floor and will have a large rooftop patio that overlooks downtown Des Moines and Principal Park.
High Trestle Trail Gets Attention
The High Trestle Trail Bridge is getting attention from internationally-renowned British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). BBC highlighted the bridge as one of “Eight amazing footbridges” around the world. On a related note: if you haven’t downloaded the Iowa by Trail app created by the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, you should. It’s a great resource where you can find trail maps, points of interest along the trails and interact socially with other trail-enthusiasts.
Food Trucks Take Downtown
Food trucks are slowing, but surely, taking over Des Moines. Earlier this month the Des Moines City Council voted to approve a 6-month food truck trial. There will be four approved zones in downtown Des Moines where the licensed trucks can park and serve their mobile fares. If food trucks are your thing, make sure you check out the Iowa Beverage Food Truck Throw Down on May 30.