The Royal Mile


by Natalie MeierStaff Writer

For those of you who need some liquid courage after hearing the Jack the Ripper lecture, head on over to the Royal Mile in downtown Des Moines.

Walking into the Royal Mile is like walking into a pub in London. The first floor is actually modeled after a British pub. The lights are dim; it’s actually kind of dark in the bar. The only real light comes from the glow of the refrigerators where the beer is kept. The walls are gold and adorned with many pictures of Britain. There are tapestry curtains covering the windows. The bar, tables and chairs are all made of a dark wood. There’s a nice patio to the right side when you walk in. When the weather is nice, it’s hard to find a table outside.

The bar on the first floor has many imports. Strong Bow and Franzikaner Weissbier are just a couple big sellers among the 150 imported beers. If scotch is your thing, there are more than 40 single-malt scotches to choose from. The beer can be a little expensive. Most are from the $4 – $5 range, but remember they are imports.

The second floor is modeled to look like a Scandinavian pub. The first half of the second floor is well lit and has many tables and chairs. The bar on the second floor is located in the back if you keep walking through the first room. There’s a wall of stained-glass windows separating the first room and the room with the bar. The bar area is very dim. There are three large booths and many bar stools.

This is my favorite part of the bar. It’s more intimate, and there are usually less people upstairs. The bartenders tend to be friendlier on the second floor bar than the downstairs bar. Generally, the downstairs bartenders are busier and a little more stressed because of all the people entering the bar on the first floor.

The second floor bar has mostly Scandinavian imports. This bar doesn’t have the same imports as the bar downstairs. It was specifically designed that way so it’s like two bars in one. This means a lot of imported beer!

The Royal Mile also serves food. They have many of the stereotypical British cuisines. There are fish and chips, Shepard’s pie and lamb chops. I’ve had the Shepard’s pie and fish and chips before and both were very good. The price for food starts at about $8 and goes up from there. The servings are rather large, and some of the meals could be shared.

What’s interesting about the Royal Mile is the people. There’s not just one type of person who goes there. There are the punks, the preps, some Drake students, professionals and the occasional Simpson student or alum. It’s a great mix, and it sets the stage for meeting new people. The bar is pretty crowded on Fridays and Saturdays. Everyone is friendly and relaxed. I’ve never gotten beer accidentally spilt on me or someone accidentally stepping on my toes. The bar gets a steady lunch crowd as well. So if you’re hungry or looking for a new place to go, check out the Royal Mile.