PELLA — A new restaurant has opened in Pella—or, perhaps more precisely, underneath Pella.
Located in the basement of 621 Franklin Street, de Kelder Speakeasy is a cozy joint that offers delicious appetizers, desserts and drinks in a setting inspired by the Roaring Twenties.
The speakeasy is owned and operated by husband-and-wife team Kelly Bandstra and Adam Flagel. Bandstra is the chef, while Flagel tends the bar.
They’re no strangers to the restaurant industry, having worked everywhere from the West Des Moines Marriott to local staples like the Royal Amsterdam Hotel, Windmill Café, In’t Veld’s Meat Market and George’s Pizza.
“Adam and I saw a need in town for a small, intimate place where people can go for date nights, night caps and private events,” said Bandstra. “We got excited and took the opportunity to open our own place!”
On the menu is a variety of small-plate appetizers and desserts that are easy to share, including beef tenderloin crostini, crab cakes, flat breads and homemade cheesecakes and cream puffs.
The drinks include fun nods to the speakeasy era, like the Bees Knees and the Mary Pickford. But guests will also find classic and familiar cocktails and wine and beer options.
While Bandstra took the lead in designing the menu, Flagel took charge of the ambience. In Dutch, “de kelder” means “the basement,” and the soft lighting and exposed stone and brick of the walls play into that theme.
As they mingle, guests also get a taste of the twenties from piped-in jazz music and historical artifacts, like a newspaper clipping from a period Iowa vs. Iowa State football game and the mugshot and fingerprints of bank robber Pretty Boy Floyd.
“We love this town and the team we’ve assembled,” said Bandstra. “When people come to de Kelder, our goal is for them to feel welcome to enjoy themselves and relax.”
De Kelder Speakeasy is open from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Thursdays through Saturdays.
To enter, guests must first go in the Klokkenspel entrance of Dutchfix, which is above the speakeasy, then look for the green door with the lion knocker.
The space is available for private events, like happy hours, holiday events and luncheons.
To make an event reservation, email email@example.com, send a Facebook message or call 641-780-8132.