• Des Moines Register - Metro's Best 20178631 Hickman Road, Urbandale   |   515-271-9200
    NOW OPEN! Sam & Gabe's at The Lyon  |  600 E 5th St, DSM   |   515-421-9333

Staff Interviews

You may be familiar with the mustachioed man behind Sam and Gabe’s bar. Andrew Scheiwe has been mixing drinks and entertaining patrons of both locations for a total of seven years. Nowadays you’ll find him slinging cocktails at the downtown location at the Lyon, but Scheiwe started out at the Urbandale location with a little help from his folks. His parents were regulars at the original location and friends with previous owners, so when Andrew was getting burned out working the late night party bar scene, they suggested he come for dinner with them at Sam and Gabe’s. After meeting with the owner and bar manager and hitting it off, the rest, as they say, is history. Scheiwe started on the well, and with his experience at the fast paced party bars, he was quick but didn’t have much facetime with customers. This was perfect for the self-proclaimed shy and awkward kid. But you wouldn’t know that by meeting Andrew behind the bar today. His confidence in his craft comes from self-training and motivation to stay current in his field. As he developed in the fine dining world, Andrew found his way out of his shell through knowledge; he explains, “I can tell people stories about what they’re enjoining and make them enjoy it more.” Scheiwe is always good for a quick fact or anecdote about most spirits, and he was one of first bartenders in Iowa to be recognized by the United States Bartender’s Guild.

He’s popular behind the bar and many of his regulars from the Urbandale location have made the trek to visit him at the Lyon. Thanks to his iconic curled mustache, people have begun to recognize him away from the bar as well. In a sense he has become a part of the Sam and Gabe’s brand, when asked how he felt about that he chuckled and said, “I can’t ever imagine leaving this place because of the people I’ve met. They know where to find me.” It’s those people who have made Sam and Gabe’s special for Andrew. He says the perfect bartender is three things, equal parts rock star, sage, and mixologist; good bartender will know how to entertain, when to advise, and how to make a good drink! Some of Andrew’s more rock star-like qualities come out when he’s tossing bottles in the air or lighting drinks ablaze, and he proves himself a mixologist time over time (order The Immigrant to witness the aforementioned cocktail on fire). As for the sage advice you’ll have to experience that yourself.
When Chef Daniel Barrett first interviewed with Sam and Gabe’s at the Lyon it hadn’t opened yet, there was no furniture, they needed a new executive chef and he agreed. He says he felt it would be a “challenging and rewarding opportunity for me. I hopped on board because I knew that I could do it.”

Learned in the school of hard knocks, Barrett first started cooking at fifteen when he began making appetizers in the kitchen at Hotel Pattee in Perry, Iowa where he grew up. There he worked his way through the ranks as his passion for food kept growing. From Perry he traveled to West Des Moines to Glen Oaks Country Club where he worked for eleven years and developed the dining experience to include events like wine dinners, cooking classes, and tableside dining. During his time at Glen Oaks, Barrett refined his skills and traveled to San Antonio’s Culinary Institute of America for continuing education classes. Intending to spend more time with his family, Barrett made a temporary career shift to a grocery store food service manager with Fresh Thyme Farmer’s Market. While the opportunity allowed him to focus on fresh products, it took him away from home too often, and Barrett soon returned to the kitchen and found his way to Sam and Gabe’s.

At the Lyon, Barrett has had freedom to play around with the traditional Italian steakhouse faire. His training is traditional French, but he incorporates Creole influences inspired by his origins in Shreveport, Louisiana and his connections he still has on the gulf. He started what he simply calls his shrimp gig. Barrett has a friend with a six boat shrimping operation down in Louisiana and as long as the boat comes in, he can get the shrimp to Des Moines in six hours. Barrett then sells the shrimp primarily to friends and family, but some guests have been lucky enough to experience them in a special weekend feature. And his commitment to freshness doesn’t end there; Barrett is a gardener himself and has provided homegrown herbs and vegetables. He also has a partnership with Sun Gold Farms in Paton, Iowa to get local, organic produce into the restaurants and onto the plates of our guests. Desserts and breads are made in house, seasoning blends are freshly mixed, and the new menu will feature hand rolled pasta. Barrett wants guests to know how fresh our food is. When asked what makes Sam and Gabe’s special, Barrett said it was the people; “Just treat people well, you know? I treat people with respect in the kitchen. It becomes a family environment that people want to be around. That is the most essential part.”

Treating people well and serving the freshest most flavorful food is Chef Daniel Barrett’s mission at Sam and Gabe’s at the Lyon. He cooks for his guests the same way he cooks for his family, when you’re at his table be sure, he is going to take care of you. Make your reservation soon to experience what Chef Daniel is serving at the Lyon.
  • 8631 Hickman Road

    @ The Lyon
    600 E 5TH STREET
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