- 419 E. Court Ave., Des Moines, IA, 50309
- Overall User Rating:
- (10 ratings)
- Everyday 2 p.m.-2 a.m.
- Official Web Site:
By Sophia Ahmad
September 17, 2008
What it is
AJâs on East Court is a new after-work hangout in the East Village. The inside is clean, cozy and newly renovated with deep red-painted walls, framed art and blacktop tables. AJs has two video games and three high definition TVs, as well as a patio area with a view of the Iowa capitol (through a chain-link fence). The patio is only concrete right now, but should be complete in about a month.
AJâs atmosphere is cool and relaxed â" a playlist of acoustic tunes gave off a âyou are now entering the weekendâ vibe. The overhead fluorescent lights didnât match the ambiance, but at least most were turned off. The granite bar was full when we came for an after-work drink on a Friday evening.
Where it is
On East Court Avenue, a short walk from most bars and restaurants and shops of the East Village.
What we tried
I was tempted to try one of their five made-from-scratch mojitos, but instead I ordered their signature drink, AJâs Kiss. It was a sugary delight, made from Amaretto, French vanilla ice cream and creme de cacao. Sweet and frou frou, it was a perfect girlâs night drink. We also had some homemade Asian spring rolls, which were part of AJâs free happy hour appetizers all week long. AJâs is now serving a limited menu including Hawaiian tuna steaks, marinated Italian chicken breast and steak in a bearnaise sauce from 5-8 p.m. They plan to expand the menu.
Beer-lovers can rejoice, too. The bar is stocked with more than 80 different bottled beers, with plenty of happy hour deals throughout the week.
Why you should go
AJâs is not the wildest place you can go to throw back a cold one, but itâs definitely a classy, friendly new spot. If their appetizers are any indicator of the new menu, be sure to order some food to go along with your drink.