Joe and Nicki Romare, owners of Whiskey River in Ames & Founders Irish Pub in Bondurant, together with D.R.A. Properties L.C,. are excited to announce the newest addition to The District in Prairie Trail to open in Fall 2016.
The Romare’s have already created a signature style with their two existing locations: eclectic and fun, original recipes, generous portions, expansive drink menus, and exciting events. Both locations were previous businesses, lovingly rescued and reinvented by Joe and Nicki. This will be the first time the couple builds from the ground up and they are enjoying the entire process.
“When the opportunity first came up, we immediately had a vision for how we would build in Prairie Trail,” said Joe. “We really like the fact that Prairie Trail is dedicated to attracting local businesses.”
“We love being on the bike trail in Bondurant and The District in Prairie Trail is very near High Trestle Trail and Neal Smith, which makes this a natural destination for cyclists,” added Nicki.”
Joe and Nicki have lived and worked in Ankeny for many years and know the town well. They both have college degrees, but as Joe says, they started bartending and stayed with it. The duo opened their first location in Ames, rescuing a popular but deteriorated 1970’s bar on Main Street called Whiskey River. In 2013, they did it again, refurbishing and reinventing Founders Irish Pub in Bondurant.
“Whisky River is everybody’s bar,” said Nicki. “Our style is fresh and trendy, but not too uptight. There will be industrial ceilings and steel trusses. It’s a place where you can get comfortable.”
The bar/restaurant will have two patios, a large rooftop patio and one on the ground level. A garage door will open up the main restaurant to the ground level patio, expanding the space to the outdoors. In addition to the bar, the new building will house a reception hall called The District Venue, also owned and managed by The Romares. The District Venue is intended for wedding receptions, corporate events and community events with seating for up to 300 people. It will offer a full bar and in-house catering.
Joe and Nicki put their creative energy into designing the new location. The décor is classic with a twist: wood floors and wainscoting mixing it up with a little industrial feel. It will have multiple levels, including a beautiful staircase that leads to the mezzanine and continues up to the second floor.
“The Romares have a successful formula for bringing great food and great people together,” says Tara Meredith of DRA Properties, the developer of Prairie Trail. “Their concept for both businesses is fun and high energy. I’m especially excited about The District Venue. So many people have told me they would love to have a wedding reception in Prairie Trail and The District Venue will be the perfect place. It will be beautiful, overlooking Lake Promenade.”
“We’re creating The District Venue to be the place for events in Ankeny,” said Nicki. “Whether it’s a wedding reception, business event or holiday gathering, we know it’s the space, the food and the service that make every event special. That’s what we do best.”
Construction begins this fall on the new building at the corner of Vintage Parkway and SW Market Street. The entire building will be nearly 10,000 square feet with separate spaces and entrances for each business.
Look for more details as work begins. The target opening date is November 2016.