dsmWeekly: January 26, 2022
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January 26, 2022

Nothing creates a better illusion of warm summer days more than an indoor pool.
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You'll find Table 128’s classic chocolate chip cookies at 503: A Drink Lab and Tasting Room, set to open Feb. 8.

dsm Exclusive

Lynn Pritchard to Open New East Village Spot

Writer: Karla Walsh

Mark your calendars, Des Moines. In advance of Table 128 2.0’s opening this spring, chef-owner Lynn Pritchard on Feb. 8 will debut a totally new concept—503: A Drink Lab and Tasting Room—at 503 E. Locust St in the East Village. (The location most recently housed Dobre Tasting Room.)

Pritchard tells dsm magazine exclusively that the super-speedy opening date is so couples can swing by for their inaugural visit during the week of Valentine’s Day.

The menu will focus on appetizers and small plates as well as a range of cocktails. For details, watch for the website and social media pages in the next week, but until then, Pritchard is giving us a sneak peek of what to expect: “We'll have two hold-over recipes from Table 128,” he says, noting that loyal fans will be able to nosh on the Brussels sprouts salad and irresistible chocolate chip-sea salt cookies.

Other featured dishes will be on a two-week rotation, he says, while the drinks menu will have three sections: “classics; on the edge, [which will be] much more rotational; and a zero-proof selection for those of us who would like a cocktail, but not the alcohol.”

The concept for 503 “has been in the back of my mind as an answer, ‘If I could do X what would it be?’ ” Pritchard says. “This place will act as a beta ground for cocktail menus and tasting menus at Table 128. It’s going to be intimate, romantic and dim—a prelude to date night or a spot for after-dinner cocktails.” (I can already imagine the epic spring and summer snack crawls from Purveyor to 503 to the New Northwestern to Clyde’s Fine Diner …)

“This project has come to fruition so organically,” he says. “We’ll be able to begin bringing staff back to work even earlier than expected [11 of the core 14 team members at the original Table 128 have signed on], cross-utilize the kitchen as a catering space for lunches and have a ‘testing’ facility to try out new dishes before introducing them at Table 128.”

503 will be open Tuesday through Thursday from 4 to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 4 to 11 p.m. or midnight.
Pianist Natasha Paremski will perform the Third Piano Concerto by Rachmaninoff with the Des Moines Symphony this weekend. Photo: Des Moines Symphony

Concert Inspired by Beethoven's Love Letters

The Des Moines Symphony’s new concert, this Saturday and Sunday at the Des Moines Civic Center, will give you a chance to experience Beethoven in a new, unexpected way. In addition to a musical performance,
“Immortal Beloved” features several actors, one who plays Beethoven.

“It’s about a side of him that’s not known by many,” conductor Joseph Giunta told dsm. “At one point in his life, he met a woman that he fell in love with. … He wrote her three letters that opened his heart to her. But he never sent her the letters and never told anyone the mysterious woman’s name.”

The first half of the program will focus on the narrative, with music accompanying. The second half will star renowned pianist Natasha Paremski performing “the fantastic and popular Third Piano Concerto by Rachmaninoff,” Giunta says. “Who could not look forward to this?

Performances will be Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Individual tickets are $15-$70 and are available online. Attendees can also view the concert virtually by purchasing a streaming pass for $20. The live broadcast takes place during the Saturday evening performance and is available on-demand for 30 days after; learn more about how to stream here.

Green is everywhere.

Almost every interior design color trend forecasts green to be big. Should you consider the 2022 color of the year?
Read more.

Capital City Pride January Speaker Series (6:30-7:30 p.m. Friday): Tune into this free virtual event where Ruth Marimo, originally from Zimbabwe, will share her story.

Art Center + Celebrating Chinese New Year (4-7 p.m. Friday):
The Des Moines Art Center’s Chinese New Year Celebration includes learning about the importance of a tea ceremony, paper lantern making and traditional dumplings from Dumpling House.

Saxophonist Damani Phillips (7:00-9:15 p.m. Saturday):
Noce will host a saxophone-centric show this weekend starring the acclaimed Damani Phillips, who is also a University of Iowa professor and director of jazz studies.

Botanical Blues (1 and 3 p.m. Sunday):
Spend the afternoon in the company of 50s and 60s-inspired blues guitar music from Scott Eggleston at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden.

Book news: Hunter Gillum is now a co-owner of Beaverdale Books with Alice Meyer, who opened the store in 2006. Gillum is a familiar face around the store as he has worked there full-time since 2015 and is known as the go-to guy for book-related questions. In that spirit, we asked him about the books he’s reading right now. “I am currently reading ‘If an Egyptian Cannot Speak English’ by Noor Naga, and ‘Lost & Found’ by Kathryn Schulz. Naga's book comes out in April and ‘Lost & Found’ just came out a week or so ago,” Gillum says.
Van Gogh in Des Moines: The popular immersive Van Gogh exhibit that has toured 20 U.S. cities–including Las Vegas, Los Angeles and New York City–is now on its way to Des Moines. The exhibition is composed of 500,000 cubic feet of video projections, turning Van Gogh’s masterpieces into moving works of art. A venue and dates have not been announced, but you can sign up to be notified when tickets are available at or follow them on Facebook or Instagram.
CMA hires new director: Jazz musician, trumpet player and composer Brian Coyle has joined Civic Music Association as executive director. Before coming to Des Moines, Coyle worked for 26 years at Hope College in Michigan as a professor and chairperson. Coyle also co-founded a jazz-focused nonprofit in 2016 that has more than 1,500 members from 45 countries. Read more about Coyle and his plans for CMA in this blog post.
Valentine’s dinner plans: The Art Center’s recently reopened cafe Tangerine will offer a five-course Valentine’s dinner on Feb. 11. The menu includes mushroom pasta, braciole and desserts. There are seatings every half hour from 5 to 7 p.m. Beforehand, take time to stroll around the galleries, which will be open until 7 p.m. that day. Cost is $90 per person with wine pairings; $65 for no wine. Reservations and prepayment are required; get more information online.

For the love of dance: Ballet Des Moines will present “Love Flight” Feb. 2-4 at Stoner Theater in the Des Moines Civic Center. The show will feature three dances exploring variations on love: an excerpt from “kiss,” a pas de deux from “Swan Lake,” and a new work by Tom Mattingly, the company’s artistic director. Following the performance, you’re invited to stay for a question-and-answer session. Get tickets and find more info here.

Sneak peek: The winners for dsm’s second annual Home Design Awards will be announced March 8, but you can get a preview of the finalists here. Discover new trends in kitchens, baths, living areas and more; ideas for making your outdoor space a year-round retreat; and dream storage solutions. Click through the 2021 finalists for even more ideas and potential sources for your next home project; there’s also a video of last year’s inaugural event. Willow on Grand is hosting this year’s event from 5 to 7 p.m. Tickets are limited, so reserve your spot now.
As part of a Sixth Avenue public art project, 12 bus shelters are being installed along a 1.2-mile corridor from the Des Moines River bridge south to I-235. Each shelter features five glass panels with a digitally embedded design created by Barbados-based artist Sheena Rose. Image courtesy of Substance Architecture and the Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation.

Revival of the Streetcar Suburbs

Writer: Brianne Sanchez

Des Moines’ trolleys have long ceased clanging and clattering, but their legacy lives on in many of the commercial corridors and surrounding neighborhoods of today. How we get around a city deeply influences our experience, and contributes to the evolution of a place.

The dozen-plus Des Moines City Railway lines ushered in a new era for our city, spurring development beyond downtown into “streetcar suburbs” anchored by colleges and churches. Business districts, including Highland Park/Oak Park and Drake, sprang up alongside new homes built to accommodate the growing population.

Both neighborhoods kept key historical elements over the past century and a half, weathering periods of disinvestment and economic downturn that make them ripe for revitalization. Now these areas are among four designated Special Investment Districts by the city’s partnership with the nonprofit Invest DSM. Grant programs for targeted residential and business improvements are meant to spur structural improvements and enhance pride of place.

“It’s asking, ‘How do we make this [neighborhood] a place that serves the surrounding community and is a reflection of them?’” says Amber Lynch, executive director of Invest DSM. “And then, how does that begin to attract the broader community into experiencing it?” Continue reading on
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