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Watch as Molly Schuyler breaks her own record, eating the Jethro’s Emmenecker Challenge in under three minutes.

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A new flavor is coming to the Great Western Trail next year when an eighth Jethro's BBQ location opens at the former space occupied by Orlondo's restaurant.

Bruce Gerleman, owner of Splash Seafood Bar & Grill and Jethro's restaurants, expects to bring the popular central Iowa eatery to south Des Moines with the theme "Jethro's BBQ n' Bigfoot."

The restaurant will feature a full Jethro's menu — complete with wings, brisket, pulled pork and smoked chicken — similar to other locations. It will also feature the "Adam Emmenecker Sandwich" challenge where adventurous diners have 15 minutes to eat a five-pound burger named after the former Drake University basketball star.

Gerleman said he plans to double the size of the existing restaurant at 4337 Park Ave., by building a new kitchen, bathrooms, a ride-up outdoor bar for cyclists, and a covered rooftop bar. There will be 26 beers on tap, along with an abundance of televisions for viewing live sporting events.

"We're just really, really excited to be coming to the south side," Gerleman said.

The "Bigfoot" theme at the new Jethro's will differ from Gerleman's former Bigfoot Bacon & Brew restaurant in Altoona. He said the fictional character will be incorporated, but the menu will resemble a traditional Jethro's BBQ.

Gerleman said he is planning to build a "Bigfoot Trail" that will allow cyclists to ride from the Great Western Trail to the restaurant. He is also bringing an 8-foot tall Bigfoot figure to the new restaurant.

"It will be really fun for all the bikers," Gerleman said. "They’re the one crowd that’s going to get this."

While Gerleman has long wanted to open a Jethro's on the city's south side, he said there wasn't a prime location until the former Orlondo's space became available. He plans to open by March 1 in time for St. Patrick's Day.

The new restaurant will have around 80 new employees and Gerleman expects to invest upwards of $1 million into the facility.

"A lot of the reactions from the bicycling community is excitement to have Jethro's on that trail," Gerleman said. "We’re not going to disappoint them."  

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Read or Share this story: https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/entertainment/dining/2019/08/07/jethros-bbq-opening-former-orlondos-space-bigfoot-park-avenue-bike-trail-restaurant-drinks-bar/1949178001/