An eclectic mix of recurring events like trivia nights, dance parties, live music, and open mics. We also have a lot of one-time events spanning a variety of arts disciplines. And, you can even rent out the space for your own private party. Learn more at desmoinessocialclub.org/the-basement.
Kum & Go Theater
We transformed the main floor of the Maintenance Shop into a black box theater – no fixed stage or seating. The space is a giant black box that we will fill with theater, film, music, dance, wrestling or fit uniquely for your event. Between our own programming and events put on by community partners in this space, we’re excited to carry on the tradition of our theater established in our previous locations. Note: The Black Box would not have been made possible without the incredible generosity of our heroes, Liz Kruidenier and Frank Burnette.
Prairie Meadows Courtyard
Once a parking lot for the firefighters, the area between the two fire station buildings has been transformed into a multipurpose courtyard capable of holding up to 700 people for outdoor events. Along with a stage for musical and theatrical performances, the courtyard also is home to a giant projection screen for showing movies (local and non), projection art and whatever other events may come our way.
In the works, are hydroponic gardens made out of shipping containers. DMSC wants to serve all art forms, and gardening is often overlooked. These containers will provide fresh herbs and vegetables to local restaurants and provide a teaching space for gardening and agriculture.
The Des Moines Social Club’s Viaduct Gallery, sponsored in part by Grand View University, is Des Moines’ new visual art home exhibiting works by emerging local, regional, national, and international artists. Committed to supporting artists and creating opportunities to enhance the art scene in Des Moines, the Viaduct Gallery connects the community with progressive and dynamic art of all mediums. The 1,800+ square foot space is located on the first floor of the Des Moines Social Club, adjacent to Capes Kafé and Malo Restaurant.
Viaduct Gallery is curated by local artists Rachel Buse, Joe Crimmings, Benjamin Gardner, Jami Graves and Aaron Tinder.
The Culinary Loft at the Des Moines Social Club, located on the second floor of the Main Building of the Firehouse, features a wide variety of culinary classes for all experience levels. View the current class offerings at desmoinessocialclub.org/culinary-loft. The Culinary Loft is presented by Meredith Corporation and Cathy and Steve Lacy
The Des Moines Social Club has partnered with Liz Lidgett Fine Art to commission artwork from local talent for the Firefighter’s Memorial. The work will be located in the former firehose drying area and will feature a combination of artwork and mementos from former tenants of the firehouse. Liz Lidgett said of the work, “My goal is to help create a work of art that both commemorates the valiant work of the firefighters that once called this building home and to teach visitors of the new social club about the building’s history.”
One of the most important rooms to maintain was the Apparatus Bay, the main room of the Headquarter Building’s 1st floor, where the trucks lived. Crucial to preserving this historic building was maintaining the size and openness of this room, so it became obvious to us that we needed a community partner to take this space and transform it into their own. This is where our friends at Orchestrate Hospitality (the brains behind Zombie Burger, Centro, and other amazing restaurants around town) stepped in to create their newest restaurant, MALO.
MALO is Des Moines’ destination for Latin cuisine. From classic Havana cocktails to inventive Mexican dishes, MALO celebrates all the flavors of Latin America.
The central communications area has been the hub of Fire Station #1 for the last 30 years. It was important for us to maintain the shape of this room as it is so unique, so we searched for the proper fit. In addition, we wanted to create a space for those who may not want to hang out in the bar and/or restaurant. Used mostly as the spot for central communication to be monitored, this room is now home to a new, caffeinated, hot spot for DMSC — Capes Kafé. Bleeding into the gallery with comics, Capes Kafé will service the lobby, gallery seating area and alley to the east.
Specials and sales all day long! Buy a coffee, get a free comic! Buy a comic, get a free coffee! Not since peanut butter and jelly has anything gone together so well!
It’s coffee and comics-only at Capes Kafé!
Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines Collaborative Office Space
The goal of our collaborative office spaces is to house several area non-profits who can save some of their budget by sharing resources, space … and eventually staff. All non-profits, regardless of mission, share similar challenges, and we will work together to solve them. Alongside DMSC, the Firehouse will be the home offices of Civic Music Association and The ALS Association of Iowa, and it will act as a new outpost for Urban Dreams. In future years, the DMSC looks forward to working with more non-profits that will take up permanent or semi-permanent space on the Firehouse’s second floor.
Free Office Meeting Space Sponsored by Wells Fargo
The Des Moines Social Club understands the challenge for non-profits and local artists who don’t want to shell out bucks to meet for an hour or two — and who need more privacy than a coffee shop provides. We’ve been there ourselves. You need to meet? Take advantage of our Free Office Meeting Space. 3 – 4 hours a week will be set aside for any artist or non-profit to use our meeting spaces, free of charge.
Original to the Firehouse in 1937, this 850 sq. ft. space with 18 foot ceilings was a functioning handball court for the first 60 years of its life. The court later became an office space as the fire department struggled with space for their administrative staff. In preserving this historic building during our renovation, we have taken out the drop ceilings and false walls, cleaned the wood floors, and added a grid system for aerial acrobatic classes and hanging artwork to re-create the Handball Court as it was originally built with a little touch of our own.
The unique dimensions and natural reverb found in the Handball Court prompted us to reserve this room for our most eclectic programming. Dubbed the “Experimental Gallery,” this room is home to groundbreaking work in all mediums, from large-scale visual installations to noise music concerts and everything in between.
The second floor of the Firehouse houses classroom space for both youth and adult education. Originally the dormitories/sleeping area for the firefighters, we created three classroom spaces, each customized to better facilitate different types of classes — a dance studio with hardwood floors, an art studio with slop sink and a multi-purpose classroom that is windowless to better serve film and photography classes. View the Classes page for a full list of current classes.
Blue Moon Recording Studio
As part of our mission to support the music and spoken word scene in Des Moines, the Social Club houses a recording studio for use by local artists at a discounted rate.