(Des Moines, IA)- The flight attendant comes over the speaker system on the puddle jumping airplane and says "Welcome to the greater Des Moines area" A smile cracks onto my tired face as silently; maybe it escaped my brain out loud I can't remember now. "Is there really a greater area in Des Moines Iowa?" Is that possible in a city with under a half million people; A metro that sports around four dance clubs for weekend party goers to "Kick it up a bit" as the locals like to say?
Spin back to a few years ago when I arrived in the same small city to do a gig at the Lumberyard Strip club, It was the Miss Nude World Pageant and I was the emcee for the event, there were girls and crews in the city from all over the world, Miss Nude Australia was here with us. I did not have time or even care to notice the local hotspots or lack there of in the greater Des Moines area. We brought the party with us and the town was a buzz about us being there. The newspaper did a story about us bringing the Nude pageant to a town that was famous for its John Deere Tractors and the Winnebago factory up the road a piece promising family travel fun for years.
The thing that we never did in our time here is to go out and "Kick it up a bit" at the local hotspots, the place to see and be seen in the area. When we did the same show with the same people in Miami Florida, we all went out club hopping and ripped a new one on South Beach. In Las Vegas when we do the same show, we go out all night long and don't have time to see one quarter of the hot spots in the city. Even in Toronto Canada while hosting the "Sex Show" we went out and had parties at clubs that seemed to be a hit with the young local hot people.
Now spin forward to this week; I am in Des Moines with Feature Entertainer Rachelle Laree and had some time on my hands. I have made some friends in this city since I have been booked here a half dozen times for various parties, events, and naked jobs. So this time when they asked "What would you like to do while your here?" I replied, I would like to see the nightlife in this area, I would like to go VIP to all the bars and clubs you have and see how the young and hot people of Des Moines party. I would like to go out and see and even be seen in the greater Des Moines area.
We head out on Friday night, it's the weekend and the clubs should be packed with the hard working blue collar people of the Midwest. Its 10pm when we make it downtown, and yes they really have a downtown here in Des Moines and it's actually a pretty nice one. We have to park in a parking garage, I was not expecting it to be so packed on the streets that we would need a parking garage but there I was on the third floor walking down to the street to make my way to the avenue where there was a cluster of four bars or clubs or whatever you might want to call them here, the dance club and pub line is very obscure here and you may be in a pub where people are dancing more than the dance club, or you could end up in the dance club where people are just standing around drinking.
The first club on the downtown strip was a place called the Liars club, now it said Legends on the outside but inside the building it was "Liars". This is one of the dance clubs in the area but when I got inside there was not much dancing, the music was not the "make you want to move" type anyway so from what I observed you just were supposed to get a drink from the bar and then split into two categories. One type would stand in one area with a few friends and just look around sipping on their drink just watching people walk by. Type Two: would go to the bar get a drink and look at people standing around while walking in what seemed to be an invisible circle inside the club. While there I named it the "trail of lonely drinkers", circling the bar over and over again hoping to attach to a cluster of friends who were standing around sipping their drinks.
We left the Liars Club, walked out of the Legends building and walked across the street to a long pub looking building that they had made into a dance club. It had what I thought was a gargoyle protruding and presiding over the front door. I later found out this was a dragon because the name of the club was "Komodo". We went inside and there were people milling around, young and better looking people than the place we just left. The problem I noticed right off the bat was the layout of the club, it was long and straight, there was no circle path so people had to walk straight to the back and turn around and walk to the front. This caused the double stare and became a bit awkward. The same guys double back and eyeball the same girls, you need to have a line ready if you are going to double stare and I did not hear one good line while I was there.
We are back in the car and now headed to the West Des Moines area where there are two clubs in one parking lot, one of them is called DRINK and is arguably the biggest club draw in the town and the other is called Crush and has the best dance club atmosphere in the area. The Crush club, I am guessing (even though it is not stated anywhere) has a Salsa night on Fridays. I did not know there was a big Latin population in the area but apparently there is because this was the most packed club all night long and they were playing real dance music, Latin style of course but people were dancing and it had that fun weekend nightclub feel for sure. DRINK had more a pub or sports bar feel, no dancing just sitting and mingling and drinking of course.
I toured the city, took in the nightlife and coming from a guy who has the inside scoop on the Hollywood CA Club scene I can say: "A hot girl is a hot girl whether it be on the Sunset Strip or a city where the John Deere tractor rules.
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