Oct 19, 2022 - Food and Drink

Corner coffee: Des Moines' Northern Vessel to open on Keo

A photo of 1201 Keo Way in Des Moines.

Northern Vessel will open next month on the first floor of 1201 Keosauqua Way in DSM. Photo: Jason Clayworth/Axios

Northern Vessel coffee will open at 1201 Keo in downtown Des Moines next month, owner T.J. Rude tells Axios.

State of play: The local start-up coffee cart is transitioning into its first permanent location.

  • The brick and mortar location is also in a notable and highly visible spot. It's located on the first floor of an unusual triangular-shaped building that's in the process of being added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Catch up fast: 1201 Keo Way was home to the Reliable Rug Factory in the early 1900s.

  • Around 1920, the building was cut at an angle to accommodate street construction, according to research published by the DSM Public Library.
  • The property was vacant for years until Aust Real Estate of WDM launched a nearly $5 million historic renovation project in 2020, reports the Business Record.

Driving the news: The renovations are nearly complete, building owner Matt Aust, tells Axios. His wife and project architect, Mindy Aust, is already operating MA Architecture from one of the new studios.

  • A hair salon will open this week while business consultants and an interior designer are taking some other spots inside the building, Matt said.

Of note: Other developments on that block are also taking shape.

Zoom in: Northern Vessel has been in transition for years, making home deliveries of its cold brew at the height of the pandemic and operating on weekends for a few months from inside the Temple for Performing Arts in late 2020.

  • Its new location will have a full espresso menu as well as grab-to-go meals including wrap and salads, Rude said.

What's next: An opening date will be announced in the coming days.


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Des Moines.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Des Moines stories

No stories could be found

Des Moinespostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Des Moines.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more