Oct 5, 2021 - Business
Des Moines business owners frustrated with festival interruptions
The storefront of Ritual Cafe in Des Moines.
Ritual Cafe closed early on Saturday because of CelebrAsian. Photo: Linh Ta/Axios

Des Moines' festival season invites thousands to converge downtown and enjoy all the bright spots our city has to offer.

  • But the subsequent road closures spell more harm than good for some local businesses.

What they're saying: Ritual Cafe Owner Denise Diaz estimates she loses 50% of her weekend revenue when a festival closes her street — 13th between Grand Ave. and Locust Street.

  • This last year was especially frustrating, Diaz told Linh. Her shop is struggling because most workers still haven't returned to nearby office buildings.

Of note: Ritual Cafe opened in 2005, before the sculpture park or Western Gateway Park were around.

The solution: City leaders previously told Axios they're hoping a new plaza could reduce street closures.

But until then, Diaz said she just wants festivals to include her in some way — whether it's buying coffee for volunteers or encouraging attendees to stop by.

  • "Don't ignore us," Diaz said.
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