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August 25, 2015
Sidebar Set to Open 
By Wini Moranville

A casual European-style cafe, Sidebar will offer coffee, cocktails
and a limited menu.
I've always loved the casual European cafe and wondered why we don't have similar venues here. I'm not talking about coffeehouses, and I'm not talking about cocktail or wine bars. I'm talking about one place where you can have both, all day long.

Opening this week in Capital Square, Sidebar will be exactly that. Stop in for a pastry or breakfast sandwich and an espresso drink in the morning; come in for afternoon tea or coffee, with pastries or cookies. After work, have them shake up a craft cocktail. Or, after a show at the Civic Center, get some gelato imported from Italy, or, better yet, a gelato cocktail, designed by Chef Mike Holman (who oversees Dos Rios, Big City Burgers and Catering DSM) and team.

On a recent soft-opening visit, I was particularly impressed by the sleek, modern feel, with plenty of natural light from the expansive windows. The cocktails take inspiration from the classic libations enjoyed in the era of heavy-drinking journalist-authors such as Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain, John Steinbeck and Dorothy Parker. You'll find whiskey sours, old fashioneds, gimlets and the like.

The venue's name--"Sidebar"--is a nod to the fact that the editorial offices of The Des Moines Register occupy the floors above. Indeed, whether you visit for a midmorning or midafternoon work meeting, or head there for cocktails before or after a show, this coffeehouse/cocktail bar may not be the main reason that you're downtown--but it will be a great side-note to your time there.

Sidebar is at 400 Locust St.; 508-0829. As of press time, spokesperson Liz Rodgers Adelman said the venue should be open by the end of the month, but the exact date is still to be determined. Watch Sidebar's Facebook page for an announcement.
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Find the Medallion

Release your inner Sherlock Holmes--and in the process help a student go to college--at a new event that promises to put your sleuthing skills to the test. A fundraiser for the Des Moines I Have a Dream Foundation, "Search the City" is a citywide scavenger hunt to raise money for a college scholarship.

To join the hunt, first buy a $5 Search the City button online or at any Casey's or Bank of the West locations in Polk and Dallas counties. A medallion has been hidden somewhere on public land in Polk County, and starting Aug. 31, the foundation will release one clue each day in The Des Moines Register, on dmregister.com and on KCCI's morning broadcast. Clues will be given through Sept. 7 unless the medallion is found before then.

If you're the first to find the medallion, you'll get a $10,000 college savings account to spend on postsecondary education for yourself or for someone you designate.

For more info on the game and its rules, click here.
Questions of Identity

We've been looking forward to this intriguing exhibit ever since it was announced: The Des Moines Art Center will open "Laurel Nakadate: Strangers and Relations" Sept. 5 (Sept. 4 for members). Nakadate is an innovative photographer, filmmaker and video artist.

Nakadate started the works that will be displayed when she began photographing strangers; eventually, she used genetic research to choose her subjects. This selection of diverse people promises to raise questions about how we define ourselves and others.

Related events include an artist lecture Sept. 1 at 6:30 p.m. in the Art Center's Levitt Auditorium, and a yoga and gallery talk Oct. 10 starting at 8:30 a.m. in the lobby. Both events are free, but reservations are required; make them here.

Pictured: Laurel Nakadate, "Tucson, Arizona #1" ( 2011), framed Type-C print, laminated with UV protective film mounted on Plexiglas, 41 by 61 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects.
Help Fight Hunger

Meals From the Heartland is still looking for volunteers to help package meals at the 8th Annual Hunger Fight Aug. 26-29. The organization's goal is to package 5 million meals; 1 million of those meals will be distributed throughout Iowa, with the remainder going to schools and orphanages in 15 countries around the globe, such as Ghana, Haiti, Kenya, Guatemala and Nepal. No time to volunteer this year? No problem: You also can choose to help fund the meals. Find out more and register to volunteer here.
Wini Moranville, author of "The Bonne Femme Cookbook: Simple, Splendid Food That French Women Cook Every Day," is a food, wine and travel writer who covers the dining scene for dsm magazine. Follow her at All Things Food DSM - Wini Moranville and catch her food segment on Fridays at 6:40 a.m. on KCWI-23's "Great Day" morning show.
 

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