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A new lunch and evening social hour spot is opening its doors with a revamped menu and breathtaking water views in downtown Des Moines.

On Tuesday, the Riverwalk Hub, located at 215 Water St., will open to the public for lunch Tuesdays through Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The restaurant and private event venue will also open for happy hour Tuesdays through Fridays, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

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The lunch menu includes a variety of sandwiches and salads ($7) that can be turned into combo meals with the addition of chips, beverage and a cookie ($10).

Sandwich options include club sandwiches, Graziano grinders, Reubens, crispy chicken Caprese and grilled cheese. Salads include a health nut salad or curried chicken with mixed greens, cucumbers and balsamic vinaigrette.

The happy hour menu includes drink specials, four kinds of made-to-order focaccia pizzas ($5) and charcuterie plates with cheese ($12).

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"It's a great place to come after work with the office or for a corporate outing," general manager Jake Miller told the Register. Miller said platters of pizza bites, charcuterie and grilled sandwich bites are available for $15 or $20 per person, depending on the combination. No rental fee is required.

The venue offers diners an unobstructed view of the Des Moines river and East Village beyond, including the Iowa State Capitol building.

Riverwalk Hub is owned by Michael and Lisa LaValle of Des Moines. And the LaValles are no strangers to the hospitality business in Des Moines.

Michael LaValle was a partner in the launches of Centro, South Union Bakery and Gateway Market with Paul Rottenberg and has served as a lifetime mentor and close friend to renowned Des Moines chef, George Formaro. And Lisa LaValle is the chef and owner of Trellis at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden across the river, another popular event venue.

The husband-and-wife team own an entire range of venue and catering options through their parent company, Port of Des Moines.

"We have the full portfolio of options for folks," Michael LaValle said. "Whatever people are looking for, we have an option for them."

Other Port of Des Moines venues

The Port of Des Moines includes a full portfolio of venues and restaurants that offer something for all tastes and budgets:

  • Jon Anderson White (J.A.W.) Riverboat and Wheelhouse Room: a public and private riverboat offering dinner and cocktail cruises at Rathbun Lake, about two hours southeast of Des Moines; 21646 Marina Place, Moravia
  • The River Center: a large event space with a mezzanine, covered patio and private suite: 340 SW 3rd St., Des Moines
  • Doré Bakerya custom patisserie catering to restaurants and clients; 1701 S. Union St., Des Moines

The LaValles' venue and catering portfolio are booked for over 3,000 events in 2019, including 200 weddings. The Des Moines Embassy Club at the top of the Ruan Building and Embassy Club West in West Des Moines are set to host another 40 or 50. On top of that, The Des Moines Embassy Club caters even more events at World Food Prize Hall of Laureates and The Tea Room.

"When love is in the air, the Port of Des Moines staff is running around," Michael LaValle said.

At the River Center, a 12,000-square-foot basement space has been transformed into a formidable catering kitchen, complete with collaborative event manager and chef offices, food and wine storage and walk-in refrigerators and freezers.

The LaValles have become known for attracting culinary talent to Des Moines from around the globe, including Diego Critelli, of Padua, Italy, and the executive chef of The River Center; and Nik Pugmire, the executive pastry chef at Doré Bakery.

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The Riverwalk Hub

Location: 215 Water St., Des Moines

Hours: Lunch from Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Happy Hour from Tuesday to Friday, 3 to 6 p.m.

Contact: (515) 330-1517; riverwalkhubdsm.com; Facebook

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