- 500 E. Locust St., Des Moines, IA, 50309
- Overall User Rating:
- (8 ratings)
- 5 p.m.-2 a.m. Monday through Saturday.
- Official Web Site:
By Sophia Ahmad
September 17, 2008
The Underground is the East Villageâs newest nightlife spot. Owners Jerrad Atkin and Kevin Wahlert, both 31, opened the bar this month. Atkin, who also manages the Locust Tap, wanted the bar to have a sexy vibe, and with the help of architect Kirk Blunck, it does. Lighting is minimal. Red lights shine on exposed brick walls, and mini spotlights shine on walking paths, not the booths themselves, so diners are not blinded by them. A simple black bar is the centerpiece of the main area. Off to the side is a room with two pool tables, steel-tipped darts and video games. On busy nights, imbibers will be happy to find a shot closet, where a bartender serves only shots so you donât have to wait at the main bar.
Reprints of historical photographs of Des Moines decorate the seating area. The most eye-catching statement in The Underground is a large stained glass window created by E. Motley for the East Des Moines Club back in the 1920s. Juxtaposed against the Tiffany-style glass mural are paintings by local artist Lee Ann Conlan, who was there when we visited.
Where it is
In the basement of the historical Teachout Building, on the corner of East Fifth and Locust Streets. The Underground is accessible by stairs on East Fifth Street or along East Locust Street.
What we tried
The menu has wine and martini lists. The bartender suggested the blueberry pancake martini. It tasted exactly like a delicious blueberry pancake: sweet, fruity and buttery. The bar also serves Frankâs Pizza.
Why you should go
The Underground has the potential to become your new East Village hangout. It has a cool, laid-back vibe mixed with an old-meets-new feel. Even if youâre just there for the tasty martinis, be sure to admire the mural and historic photos.