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"You should feel like you’re walking into a place that’s 100 years old," owner Andrew Martin says of his hopes for Magee's.


By Wini Moranville

Have you ever noticed that some "Irish" pubs in America are simply bars with an Irish name that happen to sell Guinness and have a few Irish flags and shamrocks hanging about here and there?

Andrew Martin has noticed that, too. That’s why, come December, he’s opening Magee’s, a more traditional, true-to-Ireland pub in Ankeny’s District at Prairie Trail. An Ankeny resident since 1997, Martin worked at Tone’s Spices before taking on ownership of the local Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory store, Cold Stone Creamery and Cabaret Sports Bar and Grille.

Martin became interested in Irish pubs after he and his wife researched their ancestral roots, which extended to Ireland (Magee is his wife’s maiden name). Last winter, he and his daughters visited over 70 pubs throughout the Republic to snag ideas and artifacts for the decor, which will include hand-painted Celtic crosses, stained glass, fabric prints of famous Irish locals and replicated boarding posters from the White Star Cruise Line. (Cobh, Ireland, was the Titanic’s last port of call.)

"There’s going to be a wow factor," he says. "When you walk in, you should feel like you’re walking into a place that’s 100 years old." A signature feature of Magee’s will be five themed snugs—cozy, walled-off chambers that were originally designed to offer privacy to patrons who wanted to keep their visits to the pub a secret.

According to Martin, the food will be half authentic (e.g., bangers and mash, garlic salmon) and half "American favorites with an Irish twist," such as the Irish Hangover Burger, served on a pretzel bun with Irish cheddar cheese and a fried egg.

Magee’s will be at 1610 S.W. Main St., Suite 107, Ankeny. Keep up with their progress on Facebook at MageesIrishPub.

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The Indigo Girls have a distinctive vocal flavor that has earned them a devoted fan base.


Some of us have been fans of the Indigo Girls almost since the duo's debut more than 30 years ago. Some
of you today will snatch up the last few tickets available for their show at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow (Wednesday,
Nov. 13
) at Hoyt Sherman Place. You'll be glad you did.

Amy Ray and Emily Saliers have been friends since grade school in the Atlanta area and have performed together since high school. The union of their voices reflects that shared history. And people have responded: The pair have sold over 14 million recordings, and they are the only duo with Top 40 titles on the Billboard 200 in every decade since the '80s.

Tickets for tomorrow's performance—prices start at $44.50—are available here.

Artist Sarah Grant had the challenging role of juror for the local art show "Greater Des Moines Exhibited XXVI."


An annual juried show opens today at Polk County Heritage Gallery, which will reveal awards at a public reception Sunday, Nov. 17, from 2 to 5 p.m. The Greater Des Moines Exhibited XXVI show will be on display through Jan. 13. 

"We received many submissions of various mediums, from photography to paintings and drawings," organizers noted. Sarah Grant, the juror, selected about 70 winning pieces. At the reception, which includes complimentary snacks and drinks, Grant will announce seven monetary awards: a Best of Show, three Merit Awards, and three Honorable Mentions.

Two singers fall for two dancers, and naturally a song-and-dance extravaganza follows—with some plot twists.


The 1954 movie "White Christmas" is an annual holiday staple for many of us. It features great music by Irving Berlin and a corny/sweet thread of a love story set against a background tale about the devotion of World War II veterans for their former commanding officer and their effort to save his failing Vermont inn. It's funny and touching and a Christmastime film favorite.

The show was re-created as a bright, festive stage production in 2000 and has toured the world since then, from Broadway throughout the U.S., and to the United Kingdom and Australia. No less than the New York Times says this is a production to "put on your wish list."

"Irving Berlin's White Christmas" will be staged at the Des Moines Civic Center next week, opening Tuesday, Nov. 19, and continuing daily through Sunday, Nov. 24. Tickets— $40 to $130—are available online here or at the Civic Center box office.

Intricacies of color and pattern emerge in this detail of a painting that Chiavetta was working on when we visited.


Des Moines artist Christopher Chiavetta determined early in life that the visual world was the best way he knew to make sense of his time on earth. From his studio in the Fitch Building downtown, Chiavetta works in solitude, intensely expressing his imagination through painting.

Susan Watts, owner of Olson-Larsen Galleries, saw Chiavetta’s work in a show in 2014 and was, she says, "blown away. Christopher is a painter’s painter. He is serious and careful with his craft. ... Some abstract artists work very quickly, and the work is more reactive. Christopher is in a different camp—he takes his time with his work. There are many layers, both of material and of concept."

Chiavetta is thankful, not just for the space and time to paint, but also for the fact that "there are people here who are really excited about the art happening in Des Moines." Learn more about the artist and his work in this article from the current issue of dsm magazine.

A fine crowd packed a hotel ballroom to pay tribute to, and to learn from, dsm's Sages Over 70.


Thank you to all who attended last night's Sages Over 70 event at the Sheraton West Des Moines. The crowd enjoyed celebrating this year's honoreesPenny Furgerson, Ruth Ann Gaines, Tom and Ruth Harkin, John Pappajohn, Ila Plasencia, and Mary Seidlerand hearing from each as they shared insights gained from their years of leadership, citizenship and mentorship. One way to pay it forward? Consider making a contribution in their honor to the Sages Over 70 Fund at the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, our presenting sponsor. To learn more, visit the foundation's website.
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