You just know when you're in an ancient bar. From the look to the smell to the regular on his stool to the stuff on the walls. We went in search of the oldest bars in town, and bellied up to these five fine establishments.
In search of the oldest bar in Des Moines
Joe Lawler | MetromixJanuary 24, 2012
The story goes like this: When Prohibition was repealed in 1933, the owner of Des Moines’ North Star Cafe and Howard B. Powell, owner of the H-B Inn, rode the trolley downtown together to apply for liquor licenses.
Architect Kirk Blunck owns the Locust Tap largely because the history of the building (and the bar itself) interests him.
"Est. 1933." That declaration greets those who enter the Greenwood Lounge.
‘I’ve heard that it was the Alpine Cafe in the ’20s, but I don’t know that for sure. I’d be interested to know what you find out.”
A panel on the beer cooler at Waveland Coffee Shop reads “Est. 1920.” That was a year into Prohibition, making it a difficult claim to prove.