Chef's Gwen Page, Sean Wilson and Wade Thompson talk about the hard work it takes to live your dream. Des Moines Register


A new restaurant is coming to Windsor Heights. 

R I Restaurant, a new eatery owned by chef Jacob Demars and his wife, Kathleen, will offer appetizers, entrees and desserts in the space formerly occupied by Baru 66 at 6587 University Ave. 

The name of the restaurant is personal for Demars. "It stands for Rockport and Iowa, so the idea of the restaurant is to encompass the decade-long trip I took to land in Iowa from where I started," Demars said.

More: Chefs Jacob Demars and George Formaro taste and rate Iowa State Fair foods

Chef Demars, a Massachusetts native, moved to Des Moines from Chicago to take the reigns at Marlene's at Sevastopol Station in 2017 before the restaurant closed. In 2018, he went to Trostel's Dish in Clive. Demars is also known for his 10-course pop-up dinners around the metro.

"Meet the R I owners!" announced a post on R I's Facebook page. "Chef Jacob and his wife Kathleen arrived in Des Moines in 2017, and have been working hard to accomplish this lifelong dream of opening R I. Kathleen is originally from Iowa and is so thrilled to be back. These two are very excited to be contributing to Des Moines' growing culinary scene."

R I Restaurant is slated to open in September and will seat 50 customers with a bar serving beer and wine. A multi-course tasting menu is in the works in the months ahead. 

"The concept is contemporary American cuisine with high attention to detail," Demars said. "I wanted to make a fine dining restaurant where everyone can feel at home."

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