Historic East Village

Like Greenwich Village in New York City — but on a smaller scale — downtown’s Historic East Village offers an eclectic blend of historic buildings, hip eateries, boutiques, and a wide variety of other retail establishments. Plus, with new apartments and several loft-style housing projects springing up the area, Historic East Village has taken on a comfortable neighborhood feel.

On any given day in the Historic East Village, you may see doctors, executives, lawyers, legislators and other professionals dining and shopping alongside avant-garde artistic types and other colorful characters.

Located on the east side of the Des Moines River, the Historic East Village district begins at the river and extends about five blocks east to the State Capitol Building. The northern edge of the neighborhood is Des Moines Street, and the southern border is Court Avenue.

During a visit to the Historic East Village, you will find a fascinating assortment of small businesses and merchants, but an absence of big name chain stores. Current establishments in the neighborhood include upscale furniture stores, restaurants, art galleries, a tea house, hotel, kitchen accessories shop, bridal shop, bath and soap store, jewelers, clothing store, an oriental grocery store, a record shop, guitar shop, pawn shop, several taverns and a bank.

While the renaissance of the Historic East Village is a work in progress, recent enhancements include a completed landscaping project along East Locust Street. Several building renovations have transformed old vacant structures into attractive business locations, and construction of the Soho Lofts at 400 E. Locust Street will create a loft-style condominium and retail center. A variety of other development projects are also planned for the area.

For a bit of culture, character and funky charm that can’t be found at your local mall, take a day to shop and dine in the Historic East Village.

For more information call 515.286.4950 or visit the official Historic East Village website at