Mark your calendar for these 10 restaurant, bar openings in Des Moines this spring and summer

·6 min read

Foodies of Des Moines have a lot to look forward to over the next four months with a dozen new places to eat, drink and play arriving around the metro.

Some of Des Moines' most popular eateries and breweries are expanding or relocating, new out-of-state franchises are arriving in Iowa for the first time and there are even a few new restaurants coming to life. Here are 10 new places to keep an eye out for this spring and summer.

5 Borough Bagels

11101 Plum Drive, Urbandale

Anticipated opening date: Late summer 2022

Garlic bagels at 5 Borough Bagels in Clive.
Garlic bagels at 5 Borough Bagels in Clive.

Sarah and Toney Chem, who own 5 Borough Bagels, are expanding their popular breakfast café to Urbandale. The new location will house both a bagel factory capable of producing 3,000 bagels per hour and a restaurant with a menu similar to their Clive location. According to the Chems, who have been sourcing their chewy bagels directly from New York, being able to produce on-site will afford them the ability to sell their bagels to other restaurants, hotels and potentially grocery stores.

More: New York-style bagels will arrive in Urbandale this summer when 5 Borough expands

Bar Nico

428 E. Locust St., Des Moines

Anticipated opening date: June 2022

Restaurateur Jason Simon — owner of Alba, Eatery A, Motley School Tavern and Parlor — is adding Bar Nico to his plate this summer. The upscale Mexican restaurant will cozily seat 20 and will serve coastal Mexican cuisine, tacos and tequila. Simon hopes to transform the space into a small café with fresh coffee and pastries in the morning hours.

More: Get ready for the five most-anticipated restaurant openings in Des Moines in 2022

Big Grove Brewery & Taproom

555 17th St., Des Moines

Anticipated opening date: August 2022

The view, looking southwest, of Big Grove Brewery in the Crescent Chevrolet building at the corner of 17th and High streets in Des Moines.
The view, looking southwest, of Big Grove Brewery in the Crescent Chevrolet building at the corner of 17th and High streets in Des Moines.

Eastern Iowa’s Big Grove Brewery has been highly anticipated since announcing its expansion into the Sherman Hill neighborhood of Des Moines. The 15-barrel brewery and taproom is under construction in the former Crescent Chevrolet building as part of a $550 million plan headed by Krause+, the development arm of the Des Moines-based Kum & Go convenience store chain. With plans to brew exclusive Des Moines batches and serve health-conscious brewpub fare, Big Grove hopes to anchor an “eatertainment” hub connecting Sherman Hill and the Western Gateway.

More: How to spend a perfect day near Drake University with food, drinks, shopping and more

The Chicken Shack

1501 E. Euclid Ave., Des Moines

Anticipated opening date: May 24

The Chicken Shack is coming to 1501 E. Euclid Ave., Des Moines this summer.
The Chicken Shack is coming to 1501 E. Euclid Ave., Des Moines this summer.

Co-owners Justin Krull, David Barton and Robert Morgan are bringing Las Vegas-based restaurant franchise The Chicken Shack to Des Moines this spring in a former Taco Bell location. The fast-casual eatery serves fresh, never frozen, fried chicken entrees including Buffalo chicken fries, wings, chicken fingers and sandwiches with 30 different sauce options to choose from. Beer will be available for in-store purchase, and The Chicken Shack will also serve via drive-thru. Krull said this is the first of many Iowa locations for the franchise, which he and his business partners plan to expand throughout central Iowa. Cheeky chicken logo included.

More: The 8 hottest new restaurants to try in Des Moines right now: April 2022 edition

The Continental Lounge

407 E. Fifth St., Des Moines

Anticipated opening date: June 2022

The Continental returns to the East Village this summer in a new location. The cocktail and tapas bar will continue its tradition of live music in the new building, which was previously home to vegan restaurant Dirt Burger. In 2020, The Continental closed its doors at its original location, 428 E. Locust St., which will now house Bar Nico.

More: East Village cocktail bar The Continental returns this summer in the Dirt Burger space

Monsterama Arcade

3104 S.W. Ninth St., Des Moines

Anticipated opening date: May 2022

An eight-foot King Kong hand hangs overhead in Monsterama Arcade, 3104 S.W. Ninth St. Suite 1, Des Moines.
An eight-foot King Kong hand hangs overhead in Monsterama Arcade, 3104 S.W. Ninth St. Suite 1, Des Moines.

What started as an idea for entertaining customers waiting to be tattooed or pierced turned into Monsterama, a horror-themed family-friendly arcade and pizza parlor. Chris Pruisner — owner of Lucky Gal Tattoo & Piercing — has partnered with Jays CD & Hobby owner Jason Shreve and former Nacho Mama’s owner Ron Macken to bring to life some of their favorite monsters. The southside hangout spot will house 50 vintage arcade games as well as a pizza and snacks shop. For $15, games will be all-you-can-play, and eventually the owners hope to host pinball contests.

More: Monsterama Arcade opens May 1 with 50 vintage games, pizzeria on the south side of Des Moines

Paws & Pints' Your Best Friend's Bar

6218 Willowmere Drive, Des Moines

Anticipated opening date: Summer 2022

Paws & Pints opens this summer.
Paws & Pints opens this summer.

Dog owners and their furry companions will be treated to non-stop fun and plenty to eat and drink at all-inclusive canine retreat Paws & Pints’ Your Best Friend’s Bar. The bar at Paws & Pints will have a snack kitchen and morning coffeehouse in partnership with 5 Borough Bagels. Along the bike trail and attached to a dog park on the premises, Your Best Friend’s Bar caters to both dogs and humans out to play. The bar will boast 20 beers on tap and 20 signature cocktails, and the kitchen will serve a seasonal snacks menu with options for the dogs, too.

More: Beer and boarding concept Paws and Pints breaks ground in Des Moines after COVID-19 delays

Slim Chickens

1730 N. Ankeny Blvd., Ankeny

Anticipated opening date: Early June 2022

Slim Chickens serves signature chicken tender baskets along with other southern-inspired fare.
Slim Chickens serves signature chicken tender baskets along with other southern-inspired fare.

Arkansas-based fast-casual chain Slim Chickens, which specializes in tenders and wings, is opening under the management of franchisee Jeff Brands this spring in Ankeny. Brands told the Des Moines Register that he plans to open at least nine locations across Iowa in the next five to seven years. Slim Chickens is known for its signature tender baskets as well as sandwiches, wraps, chicken and waffles, salads, fries, mac and cheese and other Southern-inspired sides.

More: Iowa's first Slim Chickens opening in Ankeny this May, with more to come

Sugar Freakshow

3023 S.W. Ninth St., Des Moines

Anticipated opening date: Spring 2022

Andrew Fuller poses for a photo at his baking studio, Sugar Freakshow, at 3023 S.W. Ninth St. in Des Moines, Friday, March 11, 2022.
Andrew Fuller poses for a photo at his baking studio, Sugar Freakshow, at 3023 S.W. Ninth St. in Des Moines, Friday, March 11, 2022.

Winner of the first season of Netflix's hit baking competition show, "Is It Cake?" Andrew Fuller is in the process of opening his cake studio on the southside. Unlike typical bakeries, Sugar Freakshow will still function primarily as a commissioned cake business, but Fuller plans to host customers and fans on live sculpting days. On one side of his shop he has installed a stage and old movie theater seating where people will be able to watch him create his hyper-realistic masterpieces.

More: A peek behind the scenes as Des Moines baker sculpts freakishly real creations on 'Is It Cake?'

Twisted Vine Brewery

112 S.E. Fourth St., Des Moines

Anticipated opening date: June 1, 2022

Brewing equipment is seen inside Twisted Vine Brewery on Thursday, April 14, 2022, in Des Moines.
Brewing equipment is seen inside Twisted Vine Brewery on Thursday, April 14, 2022, in Des Moines.

Twisted Vine is well on its way to moving into its new East Village digs from West Des Moines, filling the 7,500-square-foot ground floor of a historic brick building with a brewery and taproom. Boasting both inside and outside bars, the taproom will serve its signature brews on more than 24 taps. The 5,000-square-foot patio will host regular entertainment and food trucks.

More: Twisted Vine Brewery to begin pouring craft beer in the Des Moines' Market District this summer

Elle Wignall covers dining for the Register. Reach her at ewignall@registermedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @ElleWignallDMR.

This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: New restaurants and where to eat in Des Moines this spring