Downtown DSM Stands as a Great Entertainment Destination
The Downtown Board Member spotlight allows Downtown Board Members to introduce themselves to their residents and customers while also showcasing their support and dedication to the region and our small business owners. Each member would have a chance to create a blog centered around attractions, dining and events that they enjoy and give them a moment to be recognized for the work that they put into the development of Downtown Des Moines (DSM).
Name, Title + Organization: Paul Rottenberg, President, Orchestrate Hospitality
Paul Rottenberg Q+A
What specific role do you have that supports Downtown DSM?
I operate multiple restaurants in the Central Business District and the Gateway Market in the Sherman Hill neighborhood.
How long have you been a part of the Downtown Board? What are your favorite Downtown DSM attractions (Botanical Garden, Science Center, Sculpture Park, etc.) and why?
You will need to check my tenure. I don’t remember! I am a big fan of the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park. I love the way it brings all different types of people together in an outdoor, invigorating environment. The Greater Des Moines Botanical Gardens have been getting better and better. Sitting on the Trellis patio by the pond and watching the river flow is a great experience. The outdoor gardens are great to wander.
What are some of your favorite Downtown DSM restaurants?
Lucca, Open Sesame, Olympic Flame, RoCA, Pho Real Kitchen & Bar. Not to mention Bubba, Malo, Django, Zombie Burger and Gateway Market!
What are some of your favorite small businesses in Downtown DSM?
Like everyone in the world, I am a fan of Raygun. Purveyor is a great stop for wine and interesting food including baked goods from Doré bakery. Kitchen Collage, Kin and Eden are great retail stops with interesting selections. Jet and Monkey's is the best pet shop in town.
What have been some of your favorite #DSMlocal recent purchases?
All kinds of food. Gifts at Raygun. We get all our kitchen equipment from Kitchen Collage.
What are some of your favorite Downtown DSM events (Des Moines Arts Festival®, World Food and Music Festival, DSM Book Festival, etc.)?
We have quite a bit of art pieces we have discovered at the Des Moines Arts Festival®, including wire sculptures from Josh Cote, jewelry from Tom McGurrin and several paintings by different artists. The World Food & Music Festival is one of my favorite places to hear eclectic music.
What is your favorite Downtown DSM moment?
It’s hard to pick one in the 35 years I have been working here. I have great moments regularly these days just marveling at how far we’ve come and what a cool place Downtown DSM has become. The first Des Moines Arts Festival® held on the bridges, the first 80/35 and the Temple of Performing Arts opening were all big. The 75th Anniversary (now over 100) of the Hotel Fort Des Moines was a great moment. There are so many.
What are some new Downtown DSM developments that make you excited?
There are big things happening at Gray’s Lake Area and Market District. I think it is the mix of the big ideas and great small entrepreneurs we have here that have kept the town moving forward and fresh.
How do you think that others can support the development of the Downtown DSM area?
It is all happening. We don’t need to beg people to support Downtown DSM like we did 30 years ago because Downtown DSM is undoubtedly the one of the great destinations for entertainment, dining and shopping in the state of Iowa. With everything that continues to flourish here, I don’t see that changing.
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.