Des Moines bid farewell to many restaurants in 2019. Is one of your favorites on the list?
The Des Moines metro saw a number of restaurants close their doors in 2019.
Some were open for mere months, and others that were institutions on the local foodie scene.
Those we said goodbye to this year include:
Al Punto: A Taste of Argentine
6611 University Ave., Windsor Heights
After only a few months in business, Al Punto closed its doors last summer. Food was served at tables on parrilladas (mini barbeques) heated with wood chips and dipping sauces were served on the side.
6587 University Ave., Windsor Heights
A favorite of those favoring French cuisine, Baru 66 closed its doors in June after nearly a decade in business. Chef David Baruthio said was wants to relocate downtown so diners may be able to enjoy his multi-course tasting menus at a new location.
2800 University Ave, Suite 440, West Des Moines
The owners of Beef Cake Fuel served healthy options, including vegan meals. They also catered to keto and Whole30 meals. Owners Brad and Cassie Rodish also owned Fuel’d. Both restaurants closed this fall.
Big City Burgers and Greens
400 Locust St., No. 193, Des Moines
Known for burgers, fries, wraps and salads, this eatery started by Harry and Pam Bookey and part of Two Rivers Hospitality opened in 2010 and closed in May in order to focus on catering.
Blue Tomato Kitchen & Saison Pub
6611 University Ave., No. 100, Windsor Heights
Saison Kitchen + Pub opened in 2017 and became Blue Tomato Kitchen & Saison Pub in 2018. Each restaurant had its own entrance but diners could order off either restaurant's menu. David Baruthio and his wife Sara Hill owned the restaurant.
Butcher’s BBQ & Brews
300 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, No. 170, Des Moines
Open for less than a year, Butcher’s BBQ & Brews closed in June for rebranding. It was opened in July 2018 by Aaron Brown and Corey Butcher. The restaurant offered Texas-style BBQ, including smoked brisket, ribs, chicken, sausage and pulled pork.
212 E. Third St., Des Moines
Handmade dumplings were the star of this downtown restaurant, but it also served other Asian dishes, including steamed buns, fried rice and bulgogi beef with spicy kimchi. Dumpling Darling closed at the end of November after almost two years in business. The Iowa City location is still open.
The Fighting Burrito
117 Welch Ave., Ames
The original Fighting Burrito location in Ames closed in May after 14 years in business. But have no fear — if you're a fan, you can still get your burrito fix at the Des Moines location, 309 13th St.
Five19 Restaurant and Bar
8460 Birchwood Court, Johnston
Located in the former Legends American Grill, Five19 was open for 10 months. It served traditional American food and was open for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. The restaurant was owned by Amy and Doug Lull who named the restaurant after their wedding date.
6378 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines
A chain restaurant that featured build-your-own burgers closed in September. It offered exotic meat patties including ostrich, boar, elk and buffalo. Fuddruckers had been open since 2006.
501 Grand Ave., Des Moines
Although located inside the YMCA, you didn’t have to be a member to eat at Fuel’d. The menu consisted of wraps, sandwiches, avocado toast and acai bowls. It opened in March and closed in the fall.
2713 Beaver Ave., Des Moines
Closed in August, GoodSons was known for Jersery-ville style pizza. Sandwiches, pasta, calzones and wings also were on the menu. The restaurant was owned by Aaron Milik who bought it in 2015. It was previously called Jersey Guys.
8950 University Ave., West Des Moines
After six years, the Gusto Pizza location on the border of Waukee and West Des Moines closed in August. Three other Gusto locations are still open: 1905 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines; 2800 University Ave., West Des Moines; and 8705 Chambery Blvd., Johnston.
286 W. Hickman Road, Waukee
After five years in business, H’s Pho closed in the summer. Pho, hot pots and bahn mi were just a few of the Vietnamese specialties it offered. H’s Pho was owned by Hop Nguyen.
Hagar’s Manhattan Grill
1970 Grand Ave., West Des Moines
Opened in 2015, Hagar’s Manhattan Grill closed in June after four years in business. The restaurant was owned by Kim and Fred Hagar. Along with deli sandwiches, the restaurant served appetizers, sausage sandwiches and featured a full bar. Hagar’s Manhattan Deli on Ingersoll Avenue is still open.
Krunkwich Ramen House and Los Banditos Hot Dog Speakeasy
2721 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines
Known for vegan options and inventive tater tot creations, Krunkwich Ramen House closed in June. Los Banditos Hot Dog Speakeasy was the late night reincarnation of the restaurant and served unique twists on hot dogs. Lucky Lotus opened in the space in October.
2811 S.E. 14th St., Des Moines
An Italian restaurant on the south side of Des Moines closed at the beginning of 2019. Baggio Qeremi and Tony Veseli opened Luigi’s in 2013 and served pizza, pasta, salads and sandwiches.
3825 121st St., Urbandale
Open for 62 years, Mama Lacona’s was a staple for Italian food. Fried ravioli, lasagna, pizza and chicken marsala were just a few of the menu items. The recipes were passed down from Teresa Lacona (formerly Tursi). Owner Jim Lacona said he was retiring due to health issues. The restaurant closed in August.
Mixed West Des Moines
9520 University Ave., Suite 113
Closed in October, Mixed offered healthy options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Besides a full menu of soups, salads and paninis, diners could choose to build their own combinations. The restaurant opened in 2014.
3800 Merle Hay Road, Suite 520, Des Moines
Located inside Merle Hay Mall, Old Chicago was open for 12 years before closing in early 2019. The restaurant was part of a chain known for pizza and beer. There is another Old Chicago located in Ankeny.
Orlondo’s on Park
4337 Park Ave., Des Moines
A favorite of bicyclists, Orlondo’s closed in July after 41 years in business. The restaurant was known for its pizza, onion rings and creamy Parmesan dressing. Owner Patrick Renda grew some of the produce used in the restaurant in a garden on the property.
2710 Beaver Ave., Des Moines
Zach Gutweiler cooked for adventurous Des Moines diners for three years at Reed’s Hollow in Beaverdale. Ingredients were combined in unique ways — like the popcorn on the Ground Pork Yakisoba or the pork rind rings on the pork fat potatoes. The restaurant closed in August.
1631 S.W. Main St., Suite 100, Ankeny
The last Taco Hangover in the metro closed earlier this fall. The restaurants served street tacos, margaritas and other Mexican food. The other locations were in West Des Moines and Urbandale.
Tanner’s Bar and Grill
1975 N. Ankeny Blvd., Ankeny
A sports bar that was part of a regional chain based in Kansas, Tanner’s Bar and Grill served jumbo wings, burgers and chicken tenders. It opened in December 2017 and was open for a little more than a year before closing.
101 Jordan Creek Parkway, Suite 12520, West Des Moines
Only open for six months, Union 29 served American food with locally sourced pork and beef. It also served craft beer. Iowa was the 29th state to join the union and that’s how the restaurant got its name.
Vivian’s Diner + Drinks
400 Walnut St., Des Moines
Known for a menu with twists on traditional diner foods including fried chicken sandwiches and Cajun mac n’ cheese, Vivian’s opened in 2016 inside the Kirkwood Building by Jeff Duncan. It closed in January after more than two years in business.
The Wine Experience
Inside Younkers at Jordan Creek Town Center, West Des Moines
Opened on the same day as Jordan Creek Town Center, The Wine Experience offered diners a break from shopping. It served cheeses, sandwiches, soups and, of course, wine. The restaurant stayed open even after Younkers closed, but shut its doors in March.
Zimm’s Food & Spirits
3124 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines
Open for 26 years, Zimm’s closed in May. The restaurant was owned by Doug Zimmerman and known for appetizers, burgers and sandwiches. In addition to food, it was a popular place to watch sports and play pool and darts.
Zombie Burger + Shake Lab
1550 N. Ankeny Blvd., Suite 100, Ankeny
After three years in business, the Ankeny location of Zombie Burger + Shake Lab closed in January. It served undead-inspired takes on burgers and shakes. You can still get your zombie fix at the other Zombie Burger locations in the East Village, Jordan Creek Town Center and Coralville.