Hotel Fort Des Moines is a 103-year-old hotel bursting with rich history. Nestled within its four walls is the “In Confidence” speakeasy, a space that honors the hotel by symbolizing freedom of expression during prohibition-era Des Moines.
The Midwest’s newest speakeasy can only be found where the hotel’s mischievous white rabbit lives on the other side of a hidden diamond doorknob. Visitors can take a whimsical journey down the rabbit hole to discover a wonderland of handcrafted cocktails, curated wine collection, eclectic furnishings like chair backs sourced from around the world and artsy surprises around every corner.
As guests follow the white rabbit down the staircase, they will eventually be greeted by charming space adorned in opulent furnishing with jewel toned hues. As they move on to quench their thirst at the bar, a distinct element of theater makes itself apparent.
The bar team smokes and mixes cocktails in an apothecary style. They keep focus centered on ingredient-driven, serious, and sometimes whimsical cocktails coupled with appropriate garnishes and glassware. Acidic, refreshing, citrus-driven drinks can also be found in the cocktail program.
“The cocktail program was fun to develop due to the beautifully designed space that hotel owner Raj Patel created. I knew of Raj’s vision for “The Classics” to be the centerpiece of the narrative,” added Sean Wilson, Director of Food & Beverage, Hotel Fort Des Moines.
Each concoction is history driven, boasting a nostalgic appeal that pays homage to Hotel Fort Des Moines’ year of establishment (1919). Lead Mixologist, Lyz Pfaff instilled every ounce of her creative vision to create the program. Her co-workers know her for her rigorous work ethic that settles for nothing but absolute perfection.
Wrapping up, Director Wilson offered some insight regarding how he runs such a successful Bar Program. “It’s important for us to offer a relational side to imbibing, so we endeavored to create an experience that could stand for generations.”