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New Downtown DSM Art, Attractions and Restaurants to Check Out in 2021

New Things to Do in 2021

April 15, 2021

While 2020 and 2021 have been challenging due to the pandemic, they have also given us the opportunity to show the resilience of our region; specifically, the abilities of small businesses, artists and leaders of Downtown Des Moines (DSM) to come together and create. In the past 12+ months, there have been business openings, new art pieces added to the Downtown DSM landscape and more. Here are a few Downtown DSM art, attractions and restaurants you should check out in 2021.

Almost Famous Popcorn Company

With 36 flavors, Almost Famous Popcorn Company offers a snack we can get behind. Find flavors like Mom’s Cinnamon Roll, Vegan Cheese, Lemon Cookie, Parmesan Garlic and Fire Breathing Dragon. LEARN MORE>


Fresko means “fresh” and that’s just they serve up with local ingredients and seasonal offerings. Food comes from Iowa farms when possible. Menu items like Short Rib Tacos, Bacon Flatbread, Lobster Ravioli and the Steak Sandwich are tasty additions to the Downtown DSM food scene. LEARN MORE>

Good News, Darling Cocktail Parlor

Book a reservation for an upscale, low-key cocktail parlor located in the historic Register & Tribune Building. Full service begins with a cup of tea and ends with a shot of espresso. The new limited capacity establishment is the sister bar to the well-known 70s-inspired bar “Hello, Marjorie.” LEARN MORE>

Kum & Go

Kum & Go, a convenience store chain based in Des Moines, opened a no-fuel, no-parking walkup store along 7th Street in Downtown DSM. The pilot location offers fresh food, snacks, craft beer, wine and more. The convenience store is the first of its kind from Kum & Go and a welcome addition to downtown. LEARN MORE>

Love Blooms Mural

Selected by the World Food & Music Festival committee to create a piece of art that would represent diversity and inclusion, local artist Jenna Brownlee’s Love Blooms mural does just that. National flowers from countries represented in Iowa are included, such as: Plum Blossom, China; Bunchberry, Canada; Dahlia, Mexico; Lotus, India; Protea, South Africa; Bosnian Lily, Bosnia; Rose, United States; and the Prairie Rose for the State of Iowa. LEARN MORE>

Mainframe Studios

Fifty-eight spaces were added in March 2021 to the creative community known as Mainframe Studios. Located at 900 Keosauqua way in Downtown DSM, Mainframe Studios houses artists, entrepreneurs, designers and more, holding a free monthly party where you can meet the artists and experience art. LEARN MORE>

Mulberry Street Tavern

Mulberry Street Tavern opened in late 2020 inside the Surety Hotel Des Moines. Offering an outdoor courtyard for private dining and a dinner, pub and brunch menu, Mulberry Street Tavern is place for sharing tavern foods in a convenient setting. LEARN MORE>

Ruan Reflection Garden

A new space awaits visitors to the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden. The Ruan Reflection Garden features a water fountain, new seating among the katsura trees and tranquility in the heart of Downtown. LEARN MORE>

Skywalk Mural

Thanks to Ashley Mary, an artist based out of Minneapolis, Minn., a playful abstract mural went up in the downtown skywalk in the Insurance Exchange Building at 505 5th Ave., adding to the public art landscape of Downtown DSM. LEARN MORE>

Teehee’s Comedy Club

An independent comedy club on Walnut Street in Downtown DSM, Teehee’s Comedy Club is the place to see standup, improv and music. See upcoming shows or find performance classes for new and experienced comedians. LEARN MORE>

The Breakfast Club

New to the Historic East Village, The Breakfast Club serves up breakfast and brunch from 6 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. eight days a week. A few of the items to try on the menu? How about the Breakfast Corn Dogs, Bananas Foster or Bloody Mary Burger? Add on a Mimosa Flight or cocktail to round out your visit. LEARN MORE>

Downtown Farmers’ Market

It may not be brand new, but the Downtown Farmers’ Market is returning this summer with a modified in-person Market that will certainly feel new!  Visit close to 110 local vendors in a safe, socially distanced way starting Saturday, May 1. Masks are required for this event, and attendees are encouraged to preorder items from the Online Marketplace. LEARN MORE>

Lauridsen Skatepark

While the Lauridsen Skate Park isn’t quite open for business, mark your calendar for opening day on Saturday, May 22, 2021. Soon to be one of the largest open parks in the nation and host to the 2021 Dew Tour, an Olympic-qualifying event, Lauridsen is an absolute must-see in the city. LEARN MORE>

There is so much to see and do in Downtown DSM. Find more Downtown news and stories on our website.

Downtown Des Moines (DSM) is a growing, vibrant community that offers the energy, sophistication, housing and attractions of a burgeoning city with a brilliant future. It’s also easy to visit with plentiful and affordable street and ramp parking options.

Recently ranked a top five metro for number of economic development projects among metros with a population of 200,000 to 1 million, growth continues in and around Downtown Des Moines (DSM) in part thanks to unique public-private partnerships that allow community leaders to work together to invest in, grow and improve the city center. Learn more about other recent development projects in Downtown DSM.

Tiffany Tauscheck

Tiffany Tauscheck, CCE, IOM & CDME is the President & CEO of Greater Des Moines Partnership. For eight years, Tauscheck has been leading various areas of work at The Partnership, including organizational strategic planning, operations, culture, Investor relations, Downtown economic development, and high-profile regional initiatives and placemaking projects. Tiffany is passionate about regional collaboration and projects that impact Greater Des Moines’ quality of life. She is a Drake University alum.