One of my favorite places to hang out is the Up-Down an arcade bar located in Des Moines' East Village. They have more than 40 old-school arcade games, a life-size JENGA and Connect Four, and Nintendo games. It's basically like going back to your childhood basement, except this time you don't have to sneak in alcohol.
I approve of this place because it's across the street from where I like to start my night of partying- The Blazing Saddles. One sip you'll get a buzz, one drink will get you drunk.
On my way down the stairs to the bar last night, I walked-in on a middle of a conversation between two dudes about the musician St. Lucia.
"You've never heard of St. Lucia?" asked the first dude.
"No."dude number two replied.
I chimed in as I was descending down the steps, in my NATO regulation jacket and Doc Martens - looking like I just came back from an Occupy Movement rally.
"He sounds like Steve Woodwind."
"Winwood." One of them corrected me.
"Same difference," I said as I continued down the stairs to look for my friends Bryan, Firras and Jose.
I don't think that interaction could have gone any cooler if I had said the right name. But that's the kind of stuff that regularly goes on at Up-Down. I like that they play music that seems like out my Spotify playlist (or my missing iPod).
Sometimes though, there will be people who those "party bus" people. They're usually bachelorette parties or people from Ankeny. So expect to see the occasional Ed Hardy types, but they normally don't hang out there for long. They migrate to the martini bar across the street.
Visit their website: UpDownDSM
Verdict: Callen Approves.
Speaking of St. Lucia, take a listen to his new song Elevate. Then listen to Steve "Woodwind" Winwood's Higher Love and tell me if hear the influence.