Every friend group needs a go-to spot outside of their living space. For the “Friends” crew, it was the Central Perk; for “How I Met Your Mother” it was MacLaren’s Pub.
There are four requirements to finding your group’s own special place: the environment needs to allow for conversation (i.e., blaring music and dance floor only doesn’t count); it has to make good drinks; it should serve decent food; and it has to have some special quality that keeps you coming back — even when it’s not conveniently located right below your apartment.
With all the bars and cafes in the Des Moines area, people who live in the metro have a plethora of gathering spots to choose from. But for those still looking, Wellman’s Pub and Rooftop is that spot.
It opened its second Des Moines location in 2010 (the first is on Ingersoll), and it has quickly become one of the most well-known and favored pubs in the area. The patio gets a lot of attention on warm-weather nights especially, when people run straight for the rooftop to grab a table — and a heat lamp if necessary. As if a rooftop patio wasn’t cool enough, Wellman’s also opened its brand new patio earlier this summer.
And we’re not talking a few tables and umbrellas thrown up outside. Wellman’s knows how to make the most with what it’s got. The outdoor space has its own bar, TVs under the balcony and a waterfall flowing into a beautifully landscaped pond — complete with rocks, lights and flowers.
Conversational atmosphere: Check.
Both the patio and the rooftop are the places to be when Iowa weather decides to be nice. But even when it’s not, staying indoors at Wellman’s isn’t much of a hardship either.
Thanks to the 29 HD TVs visible at any and every angle, you can watch sports during the day or pretend you’re in a club with a constant stream of music videos.
Wellman’s also has 25 craft beers on tap, including four local Iowa brands, and a cocktail or shot to match any mood. Try out the Starburst shot if you have a sweet tooth.
Good drinks: Check.
Though it is a late-night hotspot, Wellman’s isn’t just for going out. It opens daily at 11 a.m. and serves a full menu of “gourmet bar food” until 10 p.m. Try out a variety of appetizers, four types of mac ‘n cheese, wraps and salads, stacked sandwiches, burgers and gourmet pizzas. Whether stopping in for lunch, dinner or a snack, you’ll be impressed with the selection and the taste.
Quality food: Check.
And, if you’re looking for a place to nurse your hangover on the weekend, plant yourself at Wellman’s for brunch starting at 10 a.m. with a full menu and bottomless bloody Marys and mimosas.
Saturday and Sunday breakfast is served until 2 p.m. Hang around for another hour on Sundays to enjoy live music on the rooftop from 3 to 7 p.m.
Reason to keep coming back: Let’s just say that gets several checks.