The Kirkwood Building (400 Walnut Street) has been a tough spot for restaurants to survive. Azalea, The Kirkwood Lounge, and Cuatro have all come and gone in the building in just the last couple of years. In the last few weeks, a new regime has taken over at the Kirkwood. The owners of Wasabi Chi opened a sister restaurant Wasabi Tao in the old Cuatro space, and The Kirkwood Lounge was retooled into The Gramercy Tap.
Mike and Carter Hutchison saw Azalea become one of the more popular and well-received restaurants in Des Moines in the Kirkwood, but felt that a change was needed. Enter The Kirkwood Lounge. After just about a year, they again felt a need to make a change--this time to The Gramercy Tap. The Gramercy Tap will be headed by one of the most well-respected chefs in Des Moines, Andrew Meek.
Andrew Meek was previously the Executive Chef at Sage and Sbrocco Wine Bar. He has twice been nominated for "Best of the Midwest" by the James Beard Foundation. He also landed Sage in Gourmet Magazine’s "Top 100 Farm to Table Restaurants" list. The Hutchisons and GM Nicolas Barsetti are hoping that Meek's star power will be the "it factor" that finally breaks the Kirkwood curse and puts The Gramercy Tap over the hump.
The Gramercy Tap's menu offers menu items from $5 to $29, including items like Lamb Burgers, Smoked Salmon Mac n' Cheese, Shrimp Creole, Seared Amish-Raised Duck, Pasta Carbonara, Ratatouille, and Asian Rice Noodles. The Gramercy Tap also offers a full bar.
The Gramercy Tap is open Tuesday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., and Saturday 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. They are closed on Sunday and Monday. The Gramercy Tap's website is not yet up and running, but you can find out more on the restaurant at their Facebook page.