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Juniper Moon brings elegance to Des Moines


As young men, the owners of Juniper Moon each had a favorite Des Moines restaurant, bar and place to hang out. Now they have their own bar that Des Moines natives can call home, but it’s quite different than any other in Des Moines.

The warmly lit cocktail bar and lounge is the perfect place to share a drink before or after a night out in Des Moines.

The warmly lit cocktail bar and lounge is the perfect place to share a drink before or after a night out in Des Moines.

Joe McConville, Daniel Smith, Josh Holderness and Tony Lemmo — all Des Moines natives and owners of Gusto Pizza — opened Juniper Moon this past December.

“We’re all Des Moines guys, and we grew up with Ingersoll as our neighborhood. We wanted to add to the area and the vibrancy of the area as much as possible,” said Holderness.

Juniper Moon is an upscale cocktail lounge that features carefully crafted cocktail, wine and American beer menus.

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The bar isn’t for the college kids or weekend partiers, and that adds to the whole experience.

“We wanted a place where we would go hang out,” said Holderness.

A year-and-a-half ago, the ownership team was contacted about using the building space, and after a great amount of discussion and cocktail creation, Juniper Moon was founded.

Initially, the owners weren’t sold on the idea of opening a new business on Ingersoll, but they eventually jumped on the chance of bringing a new elegancy to their old stomping grounds.

The initial dream was to have a throwback room that is reminiscent of the ’20s and ’30s. With elegant chandeliers, a repurposed back bar from the 1880s and an old telephone booth, the bar has blossomed into that dream.

The bar also has a large patio and elegant couches lining the walls. Board and table games are available for guests to enjoy as well.

“It’s a comfortable and inviting space. You get in here, and you really need a reason to leave rather than a reason to stay,” said McConville.

Not only is the bar unique in its upscale décor and ambiance, but the owners had a trick or two up their sleeves as well. The refurnished telephone booth in the corner of the bar isn’t just for looks — it has a working telephone that has a direct line to Gusto Pizza. Bar guests can order pizza and have it delivered to the bar. Juniper Moon also has a hand-selected staff.

The bar isn’t necessarily for anyone in particular, just those who want an elegant experience.

“You don’t have to be affluent to enjoy it, but it’s just that upscale feel,” said McConville.

The bar doesn’t currently feature specials or a happy hour, but the owners don’t see the need. With a reasonably-priced menu of drinks and pizza across the street in Gusto, the necessities for a great night on the town are already covered. CV

Juniper Moon

2005 Ingersoll Ave.
Monday – Friday, 4 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Saturday – Sunday, 2 p.m. – 2 a.m.


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