Nightlife in Des Moines

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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

The Hull Avenue Tavern is the oldest bar in Des Moines. We have great drink prices and a modest selection of both domestic, import and micro brew beers. We also have a variety of liquor also. Weekends we host live music every friday and saturday free shows.

834 Hull Ave
Des Moines,
IA
US

The din of clattering bowling pins and volleyballs spiking over nets tickles the ears at Trophy’s Sports Bar & Grill, a haven of spectator sports and cocktails. The destination sits amid Plaza Lanes Family Sports Complex’s bowling alley and volleyball complex. Inside, college and pro games play on one 20-foot big-screen TV and 30 additional TVs while guests sip on pints or 110-ounce “beer towers.” Its array of classic bar snacks includes queso cheese dip, jalapeño poppers, and chicken wings. And there are a slew of sandwiches named for sportsmen and teams, such as the Detroit tenderloin, the Cubby melt, and the Referee, the nickname given to the Reuben after it mediated conflicts between the thousand islands. Trophy’s also hosts special events such as karaoke, trivia, and twice-weekly bike nights, where motorcyclists mingle during contests and live music or the performances of classic-rock DJs.

2701 Douglas Ave
Des Moines,
IA
US

Players Sports Bar & Grill treats its patrons to fun nights out with friends and neighbors, as well as a tasty spread of chicken wings, sirloin steaks, beer-battered fish and chips, and hearty half-pound prime Angus burgers. Guests pair their pub fare with frosty beers or specialty drinks such as the creamy Bailey's caramel shake or a fruit-flavored Melontini.


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1760 Beaver Ave
Des Moines,
IA
US

A third generation of the Foggia family helms Gino's Food & Restaurants, which still cooks the recipes founder Gino Foggia first created in 1966. At the restaurant's Des Moines and West Des Moines locations, chefs stuff housemade ravioli with meat, layer lasagna with housemade meatballs, and toss freshly rolled cavatelli with sausages made onsite. Other pasta dishes, such as chicken marsala served over linguine, join pan-seared fish and the kitchen's signature steak de burgo, which comprises two fillet medallions with butter-garlic de burgo sauce, on the menu of Italian favorites. Wines, martinis, and desserts such as spumoni complement meals with the charm of two mismatched but lovable roommates.

2809 6th Ave
Des Moines,
IA
US