Your friends and family have come together to celebrate you. But let's be honest: the celebration doesn't usually stop at the reception. If not any corner bar will do, check out 5 of my favorite cocktail bars in the Des Moines metro that will help keep the party going.

Bartender's Handshake

This little Ingersoll Avenue joint has created the perfect mix of hole-in-the-wall meets your classy uncle's basement from the 1970's. Hang out in the cozy, lush interior, or enjoy their ample patio seating that feels kind of like a cool trailer park yard. (Think Taylor Swifts "You Need to Calm Down")

Whether you're looking for a classic cocktail that's perfectly balanced, or a new concoction that utilizes ingredients you've never even heard of, Bartender's has something for everyone. (And that includes a decent list of non-alcoholic cocktails for the zero proof lovers.) And don't forget to grab a nibble or two from their small menu of snacks and small plates.

This is hands down my favorite bar in Des Moines, so there's a good chance you'll see me out on the patio when you stop by.

My recommendations: Penicillin; the Jack Horner; the Jackie O

Hello, Marjorie

Right in the heart of Downtown Des Moines, Hello, Marjorie manages to stay tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city. If Bartender's Handshake was your swanky uncle's basement, Hello, Marjorie is your classy aunt's 1950's living room. Thrifted couches and dining-room tables fill the space, lit by an assortment of lampshades hanging whimsically from the ceiling. Their menu takes you back to an era where classic cocktails were king, but always sees opportunity to put a modern twist on traditional favorites. And your gussied-up guests will surely appreciate their "The prettiest girls in the world live in Des Moines" neon sign for a picture (or twelve).

My recommendations: the Marjorie; Editor's Note; Bee's Knees

Secret Admirer

It's not much of a secret that Secret Admirer has a menu for everyone. With solid cocktails, an extensive beer menu, and even non-alcoholic and low ABV options, there's something that will speak to your mood when you walk through the door. Though the indoor space is on the small side, their outdoor patio has plenty of seating and a window to the bar to place orders without having to leave the sunshine.

My recommendations: Prosecco on tap. You're welcome.


You opted not to have a destination wedding, but that doesn't mean that you can't folks can't have the island experience. Head on over to the East Village and check out Bellhop, Des Moines' premiere tiki lounge. If you're looking for some place where the atmosphere is as colorful and appealing as the drinks, you've come to the right place. Bellhop perfectly combines retro vibes with a modern twist, bringing you classic tiki cocktails and flairs on old favorites. Also conveniently located in the East Village, this is an excellent spot to start the night since it's around plenty of other, shall we say....rowdier bar options as the night goes on.

My recommendations: Painkiller; Saturn; a good ol' margarita

Republic on Grand

And if you just want quality, class, and some freaking food, the Republic on Grand is the perfect option. On the top floor of the AC Hotel, the Republic on Grand is an excellent spot that also has some of the best views of the city. Their drink menu is complimented by a full menu, ranging from small plates to full meals, so anyone who might need a second wind after dinner is set. Being one of the larger bars on the list, there's always plenty of room for a crowd with plenty of interior seating and a gorgeous outdoor, rooftop bar. And if you're looking for some privacy The Republic has several rooms around the perimeter of the bar that you can rent out in advance to enjoy some privacy, special service, and those great views.

My favorite thing about the Republic? They often has live, local music, meaning you get drinks, second dinner, and a show all in one spot.

My recommendations: Traveler; Grandview; Des Moines Skyline

Looking through this list and think you'd want to take photos at one of these cocktail bars?

Reach out to see which of these spots might be the best spot to sip for you and your partner.