- 210 Fourth St., Des Moines, IA, 50309
- Overall User Rating:
- (9 ratings)
- Bar: Monday-Saturday: 11a.m. to 2a.m. Sunday: 12p.m.-2a.m. Kitchen: Monday-Saturday: 11a.m.-9p.m. Sunday: 12p.m.-9p.m. Happy hour Monday-Friday: 2pm-6pm
- Official Web Site:
August 13, 2008
The look: Royal Mile has both the look and feel of a British pub: Dark, with a heavily weathered bar, solid wooden chairs and stools, and good beer on tap. On the wall, crunched between a poster of Great British cheeses, old snapshots from England and various flags, you'll find a plaque from Esquire, ranking The Royal Mile as one of the best American bars in 2007. The Red Monk is upstairs, which serves all Belgian beers and top shelf liquor. "That beer up there will sneak up on you," regular Jeff Farner told me, "especially with those stairs."
The crowd: Bartender Dustin Douglass said sometimes it depends on what's playing at Vaudeville Mews next door, and sometimes it depends on nothing at all. "You can never tell," he said. "People always ask me what the most popular beer is, and I don't know." Farner said he likes the Royal Mile because he can talk to almost anyone there. And because it doesn't have "that West Des Moines smell."
The two drinks: Beer is their specialty, so Douglass started me off with a $4.75 bottle of German Weihenstephan, made by the world's oldest brewery. It's a hefeweissbier, similar to a wheat beer or pale ale, with a crisp lemon zest flavor. My $4 Ass Monkey shot, a Crown-raspberry-banana-sour mix combo, was potent. It tasted like spiked Kool-Aid. Douglass invented this shot when he bartended during spring break in Florida. Since it's both sweet and strong, both girls and guys like it.
The grub: A full menu specializing in British food, such as fish and chips and shepherd's pie. The kitchen is open until 9 p.m. every day.
The verdict: Whoever you are, you can find someone at the Royal Mile to strike up a conversation with. I chatted with an older couple about farmers markets, then later met an artist who gave me my first (permanent marker) tattoo.