Severe Weather Warnings

Water Main Break on 4th Street Causes Businesses to Close

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Several bars, restaurants, a music venue and other businesses in the Court Avenue entertainment district had to close their doors on the busiest day of the weekend due to a water main break.

“Obviously water is a big part. You’ve got to wash dishes. Water goes into different products and additionally you have to be able to have bathrooms that function. So it’s a hard stop if you can’t provide those simple basics. Then you just can’t do business,” General Manager of Fong’s Pizza Nicholas Brink said.

Brink said only two cases of beer were damaged and there was a little water in the basement, but the downtown location is closed until the street is reopened and water is flowing again.

“The fourth and court area really is the heart of the downtown entertainment district. Fortunately it looks like it’s relatively isolated off just a block or so. So hopefully the whole area isn’t that affected, but it’s too bad especially late on a Saturday that you can’t have late night Fong’s slices. We’ll be back up and doing it as soon as we can,” Brink said.

Affected businesses that are closed as of Saturday:

  • Vaudeville Mews
  • Java Joe’s
  • Fong's Pizza
  • Bernardo’s Burritos
  • Royal Mile
  • Court Avenue Restaurant and Brewing
  • Dapper DSM
  • Pints

Vivian’s Diner and Drinks and Wasabi Tao are the only two business open on that block because they are on a different water main.

“I’ve talked to most of the hotels down here to let them know we are open and kind of give them the lay of the land. A lot of the other restaurants down here have been pushing reservations our way, so they can still accommodate the people downtown because there’s still a lot of the AAU people in town,” Owner of Vivian’s Jeff Duncan said.

Duncan said Even though several businesses took a hard hit, they’re thankful no one was seriously injured.

“I think we can all say we were fortunate. If you look at the farmers market and the crowd that was down here an hour before that, the gaping hole out there, people could have fallen in it. People could have gotten seriously hurt. The fact that nobody was on the street at the time it was a blessing,” Duncan said.

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