Sep 30, 2021 - Things to Do
Sip on elegant cocktails at The New Northwestern in Des Moines
Two groups of people dine inside Des Moines' New Northwestern.
People hanging out at The New Northwestern during a soft opening Tuesday. Photo: Linh Ta/Axios

Step back into an elegant time while sipping on a modern cocktail at The New Northwestern Cocktail & Wine Bar.

  • Jeff Link, a well-known Democratic political consultant, and Lucca owner Steve Logsdon are the brains behind the bar that's inspired by Des Moines' railway history.

I stopped by the historic site of the former Northwestern Hotel to give you a sneak preview.

A tray of smoked salmon bites.
Smoked salmon bites from the New Northwestern. Photo: Linh Ta/Axios

🫕 Food: Snack on small, shareable plates, including a charcuterie board featuring local ingredients, Greek mezze, smoked salmon bites, bruschetta and shrimp cocktail.

🥂 Drinks: Creative cocktails are the stars of the show with 10 signature drinks to choose from. Try an espresso martini or a daiquiri with fresh lime.

  • And if you can't decide — order a customizable gin and tonic flight.
A struggle buggy cocktail served at the bar.
A struggle buggy — Bacardi 8, Ancho Reyes, Montenegro, honey, fresh lime and orange bitters. Photo: Linh Ta/Axios

🚂 The vibe: The bar is an intimate space that exemplifies the history of the hotel, where railroad employees and passengers stayed by the nearby depo that went between Des Moines and Chicago.

  • A timeless, marble-counter bar is the room's main feature, followed by ceiling-high windows offering picturesque views of the East Village.
  • Plus, the building's atrium is framed by original marble pillars and flooring, offering a feeling of grandeur — and plenty of Instagram pics.

Open: 3-11pm, Tues-Thurs, and 3pm-12am Fri-Sat.

  • Happy hour goes from 3-6 pm; 321 E. Walnut St., Des Moines.
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