Nightlife in Ankeny

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Cabaret Bar & Patio invites its clientele to shake off the stress of the workweek in a sophisticated nightclub environment, filled with perfectly balanced cocktails, tasty sliders and tapas, and live entertainment. Guests nibble on homemade roasted-garlic hummus, smoked-shrimp skewers, or sandwiches made with thin-sliced turkey or barbecue pulled-pork. Servers dole out elegant martinis made with flavored vodka and fruit liqueur, craft beers, or bottle service packages that include scotch, vodka, rum, and gin. Live acoustic and electric rock sets showcase the finest local and regional talent, while DJs fill dance floors with pulsing, bracing rhythms late into the night.

2785 N Ankeny Blvd
Ankeny,
IA
US

As reported by the DesMoinesRegister.com, Pickett's pub could be carved from the timber of an enormous tree, with stacked log walls, a fireplace, and a menagerie of mounted moose heads. Though moderately unobtrusive from the road, diners are greeted to pool tables, video games, darts, and a large horseshoe-shaped bar where mixologists sling beers as well as concoctions of mixers and fruity schnapps. Pickett's also grills up juicy full-pound burgers and daily specials such as jumbo shrimp and full-pound top sirloin steaks.

6014 NW 59th Ct
Johnston,
IA
US

The long stem of a martini glass serves a purpose beyond its elegant appearance—it keeps the concoctions it bears cold without ice, which can dilute even the most potent cocktail. A practiced bartending staff uses these slender glasses to hold the more than 30 martinis that dot Lime Lounge’s drink menu, each of which is infused with premium liquors. Mango purée and a hint of chili pair with Absolut vodka in the Mango Tango, a staff favorite, and classic gin and vodka martinis, prepared to each guests' specifications, contain blue-cheese-stuffed olives or cocktail onions. The Lounge's selection of frozen cocktails don't need a martini glass to stay chilled, instead blending rum or tequila with ultra-fine shaved ice to induce an intoxicating brain freeze. With cocktail in hand, patrons can roam the contemporary interior, taking in the lights-and-sound spectacle and tapping their feet in time to live music or DJ sets.

2706 Ingersoll Ave
Des Moines,
IA
US

Originally opened in 1927, the Genesee Theatre slowly deteriorated over the course of the century until its closing in 1989. But starting in 2001, a $23 million cash infusion from the city allowed 120 volunteers to restore the theater to its Gilded Age splendor. Its elegant trappings include authentic wall fabrics, an exact replica of the original marquee, and a 2,200-pound chandelier that gently spotlights the grand lobby and every audience member passing underneath to show how everyone is a star if you really think about it.

1501 Woodland Ave
Des Moines,
IA
US

A nondescript black-and-white sign hangs outside The Standard Martini Bar, reflecting the understated elegance inside. Bartenders shake and stir 49 different martinis, including 15 modern interpretations with ingredients ranging from Godiva dark-chocolate liqueur to green tea to banana schnapps. These drinks accompany the eclectic, bistro-style menus of paninis and tapas, which draw inspiration from Cajun, Italian, and Mexican cuisines.

The decor echoes this subtle sense of refinement with its stone columns, paintings-lined walls, and caviar-filled saltshakers. The Standard Martini Bar keeps the environment lively, though, by hosting live music, karaoke nights, and trivia contests throughout the week.

208 3rd St
Des Moines,
IA
US

The skilled chefs at Carlos O’Kelly’s Mexican Cafe whip up burritos, enchiladas, and sizzling fajitas to fill an extensive menu of south-of-the-border cuisine. Diners push aside still-steaming nacho and quesadilla starters as a waiter approaches, arms meticulously stacked with plates of enchiladas and burritos ($8.99–$9.99 each). Chefs slather spinach and mushroom enchiladas in butter garlic sauce, and the burro en fuego specialty burrito befuddles meat detectors by burying contraband shredded beef and spicy chili sauce deep inside a warm flour tortilla. Diners can also look over a gluten-free menu to bite into enchiladas and fajitas prepared on corn tortillas as, in the kitchen, blenders buzz up pomegranate and strawberry frozen margaritas into salt-rimmed glasses for frozen fruit consumption without fear of stuck tongue.

4371 Merle Hay Rd
Des Moines,
IA
US