South side revamp
“We wanted it to be that neighborhood pub that everybody comes to,” co-owner Renee Way says.
Originally three separate businesses in one building, Renee Way and husband Clark Way, along with Clark’s sister Stephanie White and her husband, Dan White, purchased the building at 2301 S.W. Ninth St. in 2016. The foursome completed a 90-day major remodel, mostly done by themselves, and reopened in December 2016 as the Angry Goldfish Pub and Eatery.
“Even though none of us can remember why it’s called the Angry Goldfish to start with, we like the name so we stuck with it,” Clark says, noting there may have been some drinking involved when the name was proposed.
While the previous tenant had blackened-out windows and a dark color scheme, the Angry Goldfish allows natural light to seep in upon the reclaimed wood throughout the establishment. One corner booth allows for prime views of MacRae Park — just across the street — and downtown Des Moines. A newly completed patio will offer even better views when it opens in the spring.
Even though it’s billed as a bar, the owners take pride in offering a family friendly atmosphere (until 9 p.m., as mandated by the city). Clark has fond childhood memories of going to bars with his father after softball games,
where there was drinking but in a family-friendly environment. He wanted the same for this space.
The bar doesn’t specialize in one beverage and opts to offer a well-rounded drink menu with mules, wines, sangria and beer on tap. (They try to keep half the taps stocked with local beer.)
“I make a drink like I want to drink a drink; you can taste the alcohol in it,” Clark laughs.
Instead of happy hour deals, they choose to keep the drinks at lower price points and also implement all-day specials, like Whiskey Wednesday with $1 off all whiskey drinks.
Also on the menu at the Angry Goldfish are phenomenal food choices. The food menu has bar classics, but they are made with much more care and homemade flair. Patrons can even enjoy food late night, as the kitchen opens with the doors at 11 a.m. and closes just a half hour before the bar. Similar to the drinks, daily food specials are available. On a recent Thursday, a meatball sub with Graziano’s sausage was the meal dujour. One special available any day of the week is Grandpa’s Breakfast, with a bloody Mary, mini Miller High Life bottle, hard bread, smoked ham, goat cheese and jalapeno jam all for $11.50.
Celebrating one year in business this month, with low prices backed by quality service, food and drinks, this south side saloon appears to be here to stay. ♦