The Beat

by Chelcee CheersStaff Writer

Check It:

Dolce, a recently-revealed, revamped version of Crush nightclub off Hickman Road and 86th Street, is open from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. Newly refurbished with a full bar and moderate drink prices, this dance-style club may become Des Moines’ new hot spot.

Surf Shack in Des Moines on the west end of the Court Avenue district offers reasonable drink specials and fun theme nights. Celebrate Mardi Gras on Feb. 28 at the Shack. With doors opening at 7 p.m. and $2 drinks lasting until 10 p.m., Surf Shack could prove to be a place worth wetting your whistle at.

Following its prelude of tease and sleaze nightclubs, The Blue Moon Dueling Piano Bar & Restaurant near Jordan Creek on Mills Civic Parkway may prove to be a nice change of pace. While still possessing a pleasing bit of raunchiness oozing from racy song lyrics and provocative drink names, The Blue Moon still hangs on the upper level of a moderately classy joint with good food and even better music. If such a description inspires intrigue, the bar is open 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. on Monday and Tuesday and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

Flash Forward:

If you still have yet to do so, please, please, please check out the band “Kings of Leon,” an American rock band out of Nashville who recently graced the cover of Billboard magazine for turning on music buffs in Europe and the United States. The band took home two BRIT music awards for Best International Group and Best International Album for their recent release, “Only by the Night.” Although they are currently touring in Germany, Australia, Holland and France, they are never far from home thanks to the soul-sanctifying eclectic selection offered by Homer’s music store and a few simple clicks on the net.

The Dish:

Even if a week-long get-away to Mexico may break the bank, this watering hole will not. If the Spring Break blues sink in once you realize Iowa resembles the tundra, don’t worry. If a moderately classy canteen with slow slurping margaritas will brighten your day, Dos Rios, located on Court Avenue in Des Moines, may be exactly what the doctor ordered. If you would rather read and recluse with a nice cup of mocha over the long awaited break, cozy up at Java Joe’s in downtown Des Moines. Free internet access along with fresh soups, sandwiches, and other coffee house specialties make Java Joe’s a sweet place for some much-needed down time. Write a blog, sip some carbonated sassafras and check out the Java Joe’s posting board for upcoming local concerts.

If Java Joe’s inspired your cotton-wearing, water-saving, tree-hugging self, bike on over to Gateway Market, either on Fleur Drive or Mills Civic Parkway. Gateway has a great café, which boasts local and organic ingredients as well as a full specialty grocery store stocked with imported beers, sodas, a pallet-savvy salad bar and some animal-saving meatless treats. The store also offers an extensive variety of good-for-you-foods that won’t break the bank.