Red Monk

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by matt

great bar, i hold it close to my heart, and for sloppydog neither bar has bud light....thankfully....!!

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by Just feed me Beer

(with the Mile) best bar in town... Some of these reviews are pretty old (Piraat isn't on tap anymore, but comes in 3 different sized bottles), and the staff has changed (no powerpuff anymore). It does get very smokey in there, but if you go after the kitchen is closed, you can easily sit the eating area, right outside the Monk doors. It has a great digital jukebox, and usually a great mix of people. The beer is expensive (5-8 per drink), but it's usually AT LEAST twice as strong as american beers. Those Europeans know how to brew awesome, strong beers. Do yourself a favor at stop by for beers you can't get anywhere else in DSM.

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by Fat A.

Great bar and even better beer!! However, it can get VERY smokie up there at times. It is better when the weather permits them to open the side door...

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by Pepe

Arguably Des Moines' finest bar.

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by Samuel

The Red Monk could be the most unique bar in Des Moines. First off don't insult the bartenders (and yourself) by ordering a Bud Light. This bar offers the most interesting selection of beer from places like Belgium, Netherlands, and I believe Germany. Try one of the fruit flavored beer from Belgium called Lambic. It's one of my favorites and it will answer the question, "Why do Europeans laugh at American beer?" Another good choice for those not wanting to get to far from an Americanized beer taste is the Piraat which is on tap. Also try the Chimay that comes in multiple varieties as well.

The bar has a dark but warm feel to it with dark stained wood, dark red painted walls, and tapestries and artwork that look like they belong in a 15th century castle in England. My personal favorite is the castlelike wooden doors that are the entrance to the bar. It also has in my opinion one of the best jukeboxes in town that is a mix of hard rock, alternative, and classic rock.

The bartender staff is very helpful and knowledgeable when it comes to helping you choose from the intimidating looking bottles in the cooler behind the bar. Some of the bottles can get expensive, so go economy style and buy one of the larger bottles of beer because you will get more for your money than if you keep buying little bottles.

There really aren’t any negatives besides that it can get really smoky because the room is fairly small. My only complaint is that when one particular male bartender works, he prefers to put shows like The Powder Puff Girls and other TV shows that just don’t make sense to have on in a supposed hip bar. Your there to work, you can watch Dexter’s Laboratory at home. I’ve actually seen patrons leave and say they are leaving because they can’t believe that you’re watching Samurai Jack instead of having the big game on.

Anyway if you’re tired of going to Drink or the Royal Mile downstairs is too packed they try out the Red Monk. You won’t be disappointed!

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by SloppyDog

This place is really just an extension of the Royal Mile. Just go in the mile and up the stars. It specializes in Belgium beers. Very tasty!!! mmmmm, but you can easily spend a ton of money there, as this kind of brew is pretty pricey. Basically, you can spend as much or a little as you want. You could always run down stairs for a budlight, if you are a cheapskate.

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Tips for Red Monk from foursquare users


effen vodka

5 people have done this and 1 other wants to

Zachary B.

People make me go here. But I have to admit its growing on me.

5 people have done this

Macy K.

Don't miss the opportunity to play a little Phil Collins on the electronic jukebox located on the east wall. It'll definitely be a crowd pleaser.

4 people have done this and 1 other wants to

Hillary B.

Don't miss Tim Kasher (of Cursive/The Good Life) at the Mews next Monday, Sept 27. Doors @ 5:30 | All Ages, $10 in advance thru / $12 at the door.

3 people have done this

Bridgette B.

You can usually find a table here on a busy weekend.

2 people have done this and 1 other wants to


Congratulations, you've found one of Esquire's Best Bars in America. We recommend a shot of Zwack Unicum, the national aperitif of Hungary, with a beer back.

2 people have done this

The Red Monk - a lounge so hidden, you won't even find the sign! We originally heard about the Red Monk from a friend who claimed their was a small bar above the Royal Mile specializing in Belgium Beers. While wandering around 4th Ave one night we decided to stop in. I was a little skeptical when I saw no sign of the bar. But after asking the Royal Mile bartender, it was confirmed. Seriously, this bar is hidden.

Walk up the stairs, through the dining room, and into the big double wooden doors. Inside you'll find a very chill atmosphere with a dark/gothic décor. Similar to the Royal Mile there is a lot of dark woods, but there are also stained glass windows, dark red paint, gargoyles and a red monk sculpture.

We haven't sampled the drinks yet, but apparently it's an import beer lovers dream.

Stained Glass Chimay Window at Red Monk

@TheRedMonk on Twitter

Tonight is the night! Stop up at 5:30 or so to get a seat. We will be opening the bottle a little after 6pm if we have enough people early!

Cellared 6-Liter bottle of La Fin Du Monde will be opened tomorrow night at 5:30pm. Come buy the glassware and get a free pour!

End of the world is comming... October 21st... Let's spend the end together at the Monk. More details to come.

The Zwak is back...

Belgian Beer Celebration today at 1pm! We still have tickets so come down and sample some beer. (Stop down early for a pre party at noon)