Evelyn Davis

Many know her name; few know her story


The City of Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department is responsible for 3,225 acres of parkland spread across the city’s 72 parks. One of those, Evelyn Davis Park, has received a substantial amount of media coverage due to crime in the area. It’s a part of town that has been hit hard by unruly behavior coupled by negative perceptions from outsiders. But those involved in the area and close to the late woman it’s named after believe positive changes are taking place. It’s something that Davis, who died in 2001, would be proud of.


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Everything this week! Hemorrhoids, rings, Deace, Oscars and Iowans for Tax Relief


Friends and fans of Senate Republican Leader Paul McKinley say he’d better watch his back. They say that powerful party forces — and that’s code for Ed Failor Jr.’s Iowans for Tax Relief — are out to do him in. These folks would rather see one of their own — and that probably means Bill Dix — as leader of the 24 Senate Republicans, top people in both parties tell Skinny.

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Club 504 opens its spacious room to local and national acts


With a seating capacity of 700, a large stage equipped with ample lights and sound gear, a high ceiling, a long bar and a giant wooden floor that encourages dancing, Club 504 makes a powerful first impression.

“ ‘Wow’ is usually the first word that comes out of peoples’ mouths when they walk in for the first time,” said Skyler Van Walbeek, talent buyer for Club 504. “I think of it as a smaller version of the Val Air Ballroom.”

Located in the heart of downtown Des Moines’ East Village, Club 504’s physical presence is greater than its neighbors’ (though it has an unassuming storefront), but its diverse live music offerings fit in with the artisan mindset of the district.


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A Bosnian walkabout

Bosnian cuisine can be as confusing as Bosnia and Herzegovina, a unique Balkan nation where ethnic identities are trumped by regional ones even though Herzegovina has no defined borders. In Des Moines, Bosnian restaurants have been unsettled and resourceful, like refugees of a diaspora — Jasmin Mrvoljak opened Saraj on Douglas Avenue then sold it to Fuada Aljic who moved it to West Des Moines; the superb Old Castle restaurant took over a Five & Diner and changed little, other than installing a dance floor and a walk-in rotisserie big enough to roast three sheep at the same time; some of the best Bosnian food around comes from Ankeny’s California Pizza; Royal Grill built a reputation around exquisite cakes and pastries; and the Euro Bar converted an annex to one of the metro’s oldest motels into a pub that would fit right in to suburbs of Sarajevo. Sadly, Royal Grill and Old Castle have gone out of business, and Euro Bar has been closed for remodeling. That prompted some readers to ask for guidance on their quests for cevapi, lepinja, lovacka snickla and sampita.


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Tell us what you think about local politics, music, restaurants, bars, entertainment or anything else going on in Des Moines.


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On the town

Cityview brings you updated
nightlife images, trivia and bar
specials from the metro area's
hottest spots.
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Concert Photos

Cityview brings review and photos from the best shows in town.
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