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Take It to The Table: A Look Behind the Curtain at Ricochet

Ricochet Behind the Scenes

August 18, 2023

Ricochet — one of the newest and coolest game and arcade bars in Downtown Des Moines (DSM) — is chock full of fun things to do, cold drinks and an arsenal of big screen TVs to watch the big game.

“Take it to the table.” This old saying has become our slogan that represents what we are and what we provide. When you “take it to the table,” you not only let the table decide who is the winner, based on skill and luck, but you create a fun way to bond, settle a debate and enjoy quality time with the people you came here with.

When Downtown Des Moines arcade bar and game lounge Ricochet was created, we didn’t just want the Ping Pong balls ricocheting back and forth in our game lounge, but more importantly, we wanted our space to come alive with conversations that ricocheted amongst friends and families. We created a space where the community can relax, find fun things to do in Downtown Des Moines and have a unique experience. We only offer multiplayer games because we want to provide that quality time of group interactions with our customers. We want the guests that come in to feel that they are always welcomed and know what to expect every single visit.

Ricochet Fun

The Ricochet Team

Our team, which consists of Brad, Mike, Brian and Amanda, collaborates with their own individual set of knowledge, skills and passions to create this new attraction in Downtown Des Moines. Brad Argo, the creator of the original Ricochet in the Historic East Village, brings his knowledge and expertise of games. Mike Utley, who also owns Americana, uses his strength of running a successful business to elevate the experience of every person that walks through our door, curating a game floor that offers more than just traditional games while also creating a new experience and definition of a game lounge. Brian Lindner brings the innate hospitality he was gifted and the deep knowledge of the industry to elevate the bar experience for our customers. Amanda Frye brings expertise developing well-trained staff and organizing private parties. The four of them working together spearheaded a business that’s been missing in the region.

A day-to-day operation seems like it would be pretty simple from the outside looking in but making sure we are ready to open our doors, run a smooth shift and keep our guests happy takes the work of all of our staff and without them we wouldn’t be successful.

Preparing for Downtown Des Moines Patrons

Setting up our games and making sure they are clean, working and have all the pieces is the first step in the process. The team do daily and nightly walk-throughs to check the games. Are the pieces all there and ready for use? Does Shuffleboard need to be rewaxed? Are the dart boards up to par? We check the cleanliness of the walls, dust our ping pong tables, make sure the games don’t have drink spills on them, and that's just the beginning of the check ins. Our bartenders clean the doors daily, cut fresh fruit, deep clean the bar and make sure everything is stocked and ready to go for service. Our game hosts on weekends make sure there are enough ping pong balls in every basket, all the game pieces are available and that they are ready to help anyone that walks through the door with all their game questions. We, as a team, take pride in making our space a fun, clean and organized place to be.

Ricochet Darts     Ricochet Games

Resolving Issues During Business Hours

With any restaurant or bar, it is a fast-paced environment, and things can and will go wrong. That’s no secret, and that’s what also makes it exciting for us. Problems arise and that’s normal for the service industry. Sometimes we run out of beer, or we have issues with our cooler. Sometimes glass breaks and we have to work to get that cleaned up faster than it happened. Technology is, well, technology and sometimes our systems go down. We are problem solvers and when working in an industry that is high volume, we have to fix those problems on the spot, and we do. Our staff is truly amazing at working through those issues and that’s why we are successful.

Closing Time

Closing the bar down is not a quick process either. We are a big place which means we have a lot to do when closing. We clean and reset every game. We check how the games look and take notes on what needs to be fixed. We bring in all the games from the patio and turn off all our TVs and music. Our bartenders are rock stars who clean, stock and make sure our bar is ready to go in the morning. They clean every surface behind the bar including the computers, deep clean our drink mats, throw away fruit and stock everything from straws to cups to liquors and beers. They deep clean our tap beers and our liquor wells. Our goal every night is to make sure this place is ready to go for the next day’s service.

Ricochet Exterior

In addition to walk-ins, we serve as a Downtown Des Moines event space including corporate events, birthday parties, bachelor/bachelorette parties and wedding receptions. Every day we are grateful to have the support from the community and hope to make that presence known. Soon we are looking to start tournaments, food trucks for football season and we have a few more tricks up our sleeve to make us one of the best bars and event spaces in Downtown Des Moines. We love Downtown DSM and are excited for what the future holds!

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.

More Downtown Des Moines (DSM) restaurants are opening all the time. Don’t miss out on bakeries, brunch, breakfast, lunch, dinner, pizza, seafood, bars and breweries in downtown. Here’s the in on where to eat locally in Downtown DSM.

Amanda Frye

Amanda Frye was hired to be the Manager of Ricochet in June of 2022 to work beside General Manager and Part-Owner Brian Linder to run the day-to-day operations with the guidance from owners Mike Utley and Brad Argo.