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Some of the Chef's Kitchen traditions carry over in the new Motley School Tavern.


By Karla Walsh

Jason Simon, creator of Alba, Eatery A and Harbinger, continues to expand this local restaurant group with Motley School Tavern, an upscale pub positioned in the former Chef’s Kitchen space kitty-corner to Snookie’s in Beaverdale. Nic Gonwa shifted over from his previous role as Eatery A executive chef to lead the kitchen and join Simon as operating partner of MST—a perfect fit since it will be a true neighborhood spot for Gonwa and his family.

"The space is totally flipped," Simon explains. "Expect cozy but bright, clean and neat." Think: Wood plank walls, leather-upholstered banquettes, and plenty of natural light streaming in from the large windows up front.

Although the space looks different, Simon and Gonwa don’t want you to forget about Chef’s Kitchen. In addition to menu mainstays such as bacon-wrapped trout, onion ring-topped burgers and vegan curry, watch for recipes inspired by Chef’s Kitchen classics such as steak de Burgo and oyster chowder.

Class is in session more than for dinner alone: MST opens at 8 a.m. daily (except for when they’re closed on Mondays) to make your morning happier with a stack of pineapple upside-down pancakes, a homemade cinnamon roll or a hearty portion of hash.

Motley School Tavern, 1903 Beaver Ave.; 515-279-8075.

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Celso Piña headlines the Warren Morrow Latin Music Festival Saturday.


If you haven’t checked out the annual Warren Morrow Latin Music Festival yet, then you just need to do so this year, on Saturday, July 20, at Brenton Plaza. The fest started in 2012 as a memorial concert to honor Morrow, who was a highly respected advocate of the city’s Latino community. Since then, it has evolved into an all-day event that showcases a variety of Latin styles and offers family-friendly activities, art, food and more.

Celso Piña, a world-renowned and Grammy-nominated Mexican accordion player and singer and a major figure in cumbia music, will make his Iowa debut in headlining this year’s festival. Booking Piña for the festival "is a huge deal," says Goizane Esain Mullin, one of the festival organizers. "He is one of the most popular Latin artists in the world."

The festival runs from 4 p.m. to midnight. Tickets are $35 general admission and $50 for VIP, available through MidwesTix. More info: 

Minneapolis singer Debbie Duncan performs Friday at Hoyt Sherman Place. Photo: Andrea Canter.


The revived Jazz in July free concert series has two more dates at Hoyt Sherman Place: July 19 and 25. Local musicians will start the shows on the lawn at 6 p.m. The headlining acts will perform in the auditorium starting at 7:30 p.m. They include:

Friday, July 19: Vocalist Debbie Duncan, from Minneapolis, who blurs the line between jazz and pop music and is lauded for singing "with a rare level of emotional conviction."

• Thursday, July 25
: Widely praised saxophonist and composer Damani Phillips, who also is an associate professor of jazz studies at the University of Iowa.

Civic Music Association will add to the jazz experience with its own new festival, which will take place at Hoyt Sherman Saturday, July 20, beginning at 1 p.m. Originally planned for the lawn, the forecast of high temperatures has forced the concert indoors, but the music is sure to be cool. At 6:30 p.m., the ticketed concert features two dynamic stars who are shaking up the jazz world: Canadian trumpeter, singer and songwriter Bria Skonberg and Los Angeles-based pianist Connie Han.

The Connie Han Trio will perform at 6:30 p.m., followed by Skonberg at 8:30 p.m. Han, 22, has gained fame for her fresh approach of blending modern and traditional jazz, while the 35-year-old Skonberg,  the Wall Street Journal praises, "plays trumpet like a red hot devil and sings like a dream."

Tickets are $39, available through the Hoyt Sherman box office or Ticketmaster.

Prominent street artists and muralists are featured at Moberg Gallery through July 27.


If you haven't had a chance to check out Moberg Gallery's latest exhibit, this Friday, July 19, provides the perfect opportunity to do so as the gallery will host the Matt Villinger Trio from 7 to 10 p.m. The exhibit, curated by artist Jason Woodside, showcases the work of contemporary street and mural artists SWOON, D*Face, Ruben Sanchez, Adele Renault, Pref, ItsALiving, Adam Lucas, Maser, and Buff Monster.

DreibBerge Coffee is the newest addition to your local java options.


By Karla Walsh

Calling all caffeine-cravers! If you’re seeking options for java—or more earth-friendly ways to enjoy it—take note:

DreiBerge Coffee Opens in the East Village
111 E. Grand Ave.;
With cold brew and kombucha on tap, local Graze honey-sweetened beverages and baked goods, hot and iced teas, and so-smooth coffee whipped up in a Sanremo Cafe Racer (a fancy Italian coffee machine), DreiBerge (pronounced "Dry-Burg") officially opened for business on July 2. Swing in to savor your cup in the airy, bright cafe or take it to go in one of their unique recyclable cups.

Cool Off With Frozen Coffee Treats in Ankeny
2410 S.W. White Birch Drive, Suite 100, Ankeny;
If drinking hot coffee sounds about as appealing as running over sizzling coals on a 100-degree day, get your coffee fix in frozen form. On June 20, the Outside Scoop opened its third branch—this time, near Ankeny’s booming Prairie Trail districtand can help you cool off with a
Mocha Sundae with coffee toffee ice cream, caramel sauce and homemade hot fudge. This is the local ice cream brand’s second brick-and-mortar (joining their Indianola location). They also have their food truck that pops up at events all around town.

Downtown’s Horizon Line Goes (Even More) Sustainable
1417 Walnut St, Suite B;
This popular Western Gateway coffee shop is all about building community (seriously, just sit in the chairs near the door and you’ll almost always hear the staff welcoming folks in by name). And they’re about to take on a mission that will affect the community locally and globally: As of the end of July, Horizon Line will be rolling out a glass jar program that will eventually eliminate all disposable cups, sleeves and lids.

"Sustainability has always been one of our major priorities," says co-owner Nam Ho. "While there are customers that bring their own reusable cup, with the number of products that we hand out every day, we can increase that number exponentially."

With that in mind, they’ll be offering customers glass jars ("that will have a positive environmental impact in as little as six uses," according to Ho) instead of paper cups if they’re taking their drink on the road. Horizon Line hopes their customers will bring the jar back next time to swap for a new, clean jar.

"However, if a customer returns without their previous jar, they will still receive a new one," Ho says. "We understand that there will be a period of transition once we begin rolling out our jar program, but we hope that when customers see that we as a business are taking responsibility in the role that we play in creating a more sustainable environment, they too will implement small changes that make huge changes for our environment."

Lyle Lovett and crew are scheduled to perform at Hoyt Sherman Place Thursday.

Lyle Lovettt is at Hoyt Sherman Place Thursday, July 18.
Pop Evil is at Wooly's Saturday, July 20.
Jerry Seinfeld is at the Des Moines Civic Center July 26.


Des Moines Performing Arts brings  two comedians to the Civic Center this fall: Bert Kreischer Sept. 28 and Tom Segura Oct. 8.

We at dsm magazine and the Business Record maintain this calendar with handy filters so you can see just the types of events you're searching for. For even more categories, check Catch Des Moines.
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