Column and Photos by Allison Trebacz
There are big ones with more than enough seating, cramped, modest ones with the best baristas and some with cozy fireplaces to contrast the others that give off that modern vibe.
But, somewhere among all of these, falls perhaps the most unique: the West End Architectural Salvage Coffee Shop.
Located at 22 Southwest Ninth St. in downtown Des Moines, this refurbished industrial building hides underneath an underpass and is fairly easy to miss on the outskirts of the city. But if you’re lucky enough to find a parking spot and wander in, it’s impossible to be disappointed.
Push open the heavy, refinished door with a brass handle, walk up a few creaking steps and underneath an old, hanging cathedral light and the building comes alive.
Old things from window panes to repainted shutters to fixed neon signs are ordered against the walls.
Compared to other downtown coffee shops, West End Salvage certainly ranks among them. The coffee is rich and the mochas are well prepared without being overwhelmingly sweet (a problem that plagues many fine establishments). They do not have an extensive or completely unique menu, but what they do serve, they serve well.
Besides being dependable for a good cup of coffee, the front room of West End Salvage is filled with interesting refinished tables and a variety of unmatched chairs. Some are high backed, some are cushioned and other are the epitome of art deco.
But the best thing about this coffee shop, is that while there are great places to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee and the whimsical atmosphere, afterward, there are another four stories to explore and everything to find from the perfect historic door to a refinished, Victorian couch and everything in between.
West End Salvage is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from noon until 4. It’s the perfect place to spend a couple of hours so stop by, grab a cup of coffee and help yourself to an adventure through time.
Trebacz is a sophomore magazine journalism major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org