Recent News

Downtown Chamber Calendar At-a-Glance



Member Orientation

Monday, November 23rd, 4:00pm-5:00pm


Register Here


Downtown DIG 

Tuesday, November 24th, 7:30am-8:30am

Court Avenue Business Suites

Topic: Walkability and More

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Downtown Council

Tuesday, December 1st, 8:00am-9:00am

Wellmark YMCA

Register Here


LEAP Series – Celebration

Thursday, December 3rd, 4:30pm-6:00pm

Holiday Inn Downtown

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New Restaurants popping up Downtown

Portions Reported by the Des Moines Register 11/22/2015

Chicago Dog

550 S.W. Ninth St., Des Moines

Chicago Dog, a hot dog restaurant, has opened in the Cityville mixed-use development on Southwest Ninth Street near downtown Des Moines.

Owner Lisa Keena said she is serving Chicago-style hot dogs and Italian beef, polish sausage, Reuben, Philly and grinder sandwiches. Most of the meat comes from Chicago, but some is sourced locally, she said.

Keena formerly operated Chicago Dog and Deli, which she sold 10 years ago. She worked in human resources before deciding to get back into the restaurant business.

She chose Cityville, a Hubbell development that includes other retailers and about 100 apartments, because it is close to downtown and is new.

Chicago Dog is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, and closed Sunday.

Bubba — Southern Comforts

to be located at 200 10th St., Des Moines

Bubba — Southern Comforts restaurant will open next spring in the former Raccoon River Brewing Co. space in downtown Des Moines. Owners Chris Diebel and Kolby Jones have partnered with Lana Jones Gould to create a private investment group for the venture.

The 5,300-square-foot restaurant will use the same two-floor footprint Raccoon River formerly occupied from 1997 until it closed in March.

Bubba’s menu is expected to include Southern dishes like fried green tomatoes, meatloaf sandwiches, muffulettas, Cajun po’boys, gumbo, chicken fried steak, Texas T-Bone steak, peach cobbler and pecan pie.

Dos Rios Cantina and Tequila Lounge

316 Court Ave., Des Moines

Dos Rios Cantina and Tequila Lounge in downtown Des Moines will close Thursday for renovations and reopen in early spring in time for the first round of the 2016 NCAA men’s basketball tournament, owners said.

The nine-year-old restaurant will be refreshed and updated, said Liz Adelman, restaurant spokeswoman. The owners will reveal more specific plans for Dos Rios closer to the reopening, Adelman said.

Two Rivers Hospitality Group owns and operates Dos Rios, Catering DSM, The Temple for Performing Arts, Big City Burgers and Greens, and Sidebar coffee shop and cafe.

Guru BBQ

300 W Martin Luther King Jr. Pkwy #170, Des Moines

Guru BBQ was born out of an eclectic mix of Cajun, French, Korean, Mexican, Spanish, and Thai cuisine styles.  Starting in 2009, three Des Moines-natives began honing their vision for Guru BBQ in the cut-throat world of competition BBQ.  Within a few short years, they were gaining popularity on the BBQ circuit and taking in catering requests.

Today, Guru BBQ continues to expand the culinary palate for other-worldly BBQ out of its brick and mortar restaurant in downtown Des Moines, Iowa.  Everyday Guru BBQ continues the journey to create mind-bending BBQ with soul-nurturing flavors, using international ingredients and various in-house grilling techniques.

Make note of these downtown skywalk closures




(Click the photo for full map of closures)

11/15/2015 – Reported by KCCI

DES MOINES, Iowa —A section of the skywalk system in downtown Des Moines will close next month due to construction on the Iowa Events Center hotel.

Select skywalks that lead to the Iowa Events Center and Wells Fargo Arena, between Watson Powell Jr. Way and the convention center, will close on Monday, Dec. 7.

The Des Moines Skywalk App will also be available on Dec. 7 to help users navigate around the closures. The closed skywalks are expected to reopen in early spring 2018.

Maps with detour information will be displayed in the skywalks. You can pick up a map and learn more information at the following locations:

Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau Office
Iowa Events Center/Wells Fargo Arena
Downtown Des Moines hotels

New Restaurant Brings Southern Cuisine to Des Moines

11/06/2015 – Reported by the Register

Marketing pro Chris Diebel is ready to jump into the hospitality industry in a whole new way. The managing director of LPCA Public Strategies plans to take his three-day pop-up restaurant from 2013and turn it into a full-fledged restaurant. His Southern concept Bubba — Southern Comforts opens in the former Raccoon River Brewing Co. space inside the Clemens Building at 200 10th St. in late spring.

The 5,300-square-foot restaurant takes over the same two-floor footprint Raccoon River once occupied from 1997 until it closed in March.

Diners won’t recognize the former space once it’s finished. The 120-seat restaurant plans to feature a huge lounge area with 40 seats split among upholstered furniture such as wing-back tufted arm chairs and high-top stools on the first floor, the centerpiece for conversation. The clubby feel of the room will remind guests of a smoking lounge with its selection of bourbons and ryes behind the bar.

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Forbes Ranks Iowa 14th, Notes Diversified Economy

10/30/2015 – Reported by the Business Record

Iowa ranks 14th on Forbes’ Best States for Business List for 2015, down two spots from last year, the Corridor Business Journal reported. While the rest of the world may think of Iowa as mainly agricultural, Forbes notes the state’s transformation over the past 50 years to an economy diversified with manufacturing, food processing, financial services and biotechnology industries. Iowa shined in the rankings with its Aaa Moody’s bond rating, business-friendly regulatory climate and 3.8 percent unemployment rate. The state’s projected population growth of 0.2 percent was the biggest negative. The top five states, in order, were Utah, North Carolina, Nebraska, North Dakota and Colorado with Rhode Island, New Mexico, Maine, Mississippi and West Virginia ranking at the bottom.

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