Des Moines bid farewell to many restaurants in 2018. Is one of your favorites on the list?
As 2018 comes to a close, a look back at restaurants in Des Moines that have closed. Des Moines Register
While Des Moines metro foodies had their pick of new restaurants in 2018, there were several eateries that closed during the year that ranged from longtime favorites to flash in the pan eateries.
Here’s a list of some eateries we bid adieu in 2018:
Legend’s American Grill, 8460 Birchwood Court, Johnston - After 23 years, Legends American Grill closed its final location. The casual dining restaurants served steak, chicken and seafood dishes as well as soups, salads and sandwiches.
At its peak, Legends had locations in Pleasant Hill, downtown Des Moines and the original restaurant at 5906 Ashworth Road in West Des Moines.
Magnolia Wine Kitchen, 1420 Locust St. — Magnolia Wine Kitchen opened in August 2016 next to the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park and closed last spring to make way for Django’s relocation.
Goldfinch, 317 Court Ave. — Operated by Two Rivers Hospitality Group, Goldfinch was around for 18 months before closing. Prior to that, it was Dos Rios, a Mexican restaurant.
Marlene’s at Sevastopol Station, 1938 S.E. Sixth St., — Marlene’s served contemporary American cuisine and was named after owner Kim Carstens’ mother. It closed in February.
BW’s Burgers, 3701 E.P. True Pkwy., West Des Moines — Nominated for 2017's Top Ten burger contest for its 10- and 14-ounce burgers by the Iowa Beef Industry Council and the Iowa Cattlemen's Association, BW’s closed earlier this year after three years in West Des Moines.
Tacopocalypse, 407 E. Fifth St. — This East Village eatery closed in the fall. Owner Sam Auen served up Asian-inspired tacos, burritos, nachos, quesadillas, soups and tots with a focus on vegetarian and vegan dishes. Auen opened Tacopocalypse in 2013 after operating in a food truck for several years. He still operates Krunkwich Ramen House at 2721 Ingersoll Ave.
Sam & Gabe’s, 600 E. Fifth St., Des Moines; 8631 Hickman Road, Urbandale — The longtime eatery with locations in the East Village and Urbandale closed in October. Jerry Talerico opened Sam & Gabe’s 22 years ago. He sold the business two years ago.
Palmer’s Deli and Market, 110 N. Ankeny Blvd. — Owner Joe Palmer closed the Ankeny store at the end of April so that he could focus on the company’s four other locations. Palmer’s in Ankeny had been open 11 years.
+39 Restaurant, Market and Cantina, 1430 Locust St. — The Italian restaurant shut down abruptly in January. The owners, husband-and-wife-team Alessandro Andreoni and Elisabetta Barison, and business partner Andrea Caremoli opened the Des Moines restaurant in the spring of 2016. They have operated the Ames restaurant since December 2013.
Le Jardin, 2815 Beaver Ave. — Owners Tag and Megan Grandgeorge shuttered the French bistro last summer. Le Jardin, which served flatbread, cheese and meat plates, entrees, sandwiches, omelets, crepes and desserts, had operated in several locations in its 10 years, landing in Beaverdale in 2013.
Scornovacca's, 3900 E. 14th St. — Known for its build-your-own pizza and pasta dishes along with appetizers, sandwiches, salads, lunch specials and Momma Sue's Sugar Cookies, this Des Moines staple closed in December after operating for 42 years. Owner Susan Freylack, 65, has decided to close the restaurant due to health problems.
Home Plate Diner, 304 E. 30th St. — This baseball-themed diner first opened its doors in 2010 across from the Iowa State Fairgrounds. It served breakfast all day, lunch and dinner. Two other locations opened and closed at 3900 E. 14th St., Des Moines, and 8569 Hickman Road, Urbandale, during the diner's eight-year stretch.
Lemon Grass, 1221 Eighth St., West Des Moines — The small Asian restaurant was known for its egg rolls, noodle and rice dishes, and variety of spice levels. The eatery, owned by Chad Lovan, opened in 2007 in Clive before moving to its current location in 2011.
Villaggio, 2675 100th St., Urbandale — The Italian restaurant, which served pizza, sandwiches and pasta dishes, closed last summer. Owner Daniel Eoriatti opened the restaurant, modeled his father’s Villaggio restaurant in Norwalk, in 2016.
Polito’s Pizza House, 210 Lincoln St. N.E., Bondurant — Polito's Pizza House closed in May after 17 years of homemade pizza served in a family-friendly atmosphere. Another location, Polito's Pizza House II, operated in Ankeny beginning in 2009 for one year.
Strudl Haus, 1951 Indianola Ave. — This European cafe and bakery closed Dec. 17. Owner and chef Michael Leo opened the Austrian-styled restaurant in 2014. Before that, he operated a restaurant in Altoona and was a staple at the Downtown Farmers Market.
Chef’s Kitchen, 1903 Beaver Ave. — Chef’s Kitchen, known for its Italian dishes, steak, seafood and weekend brunch, was a Beaverdale favorite. Owners Steve and Kristi Little closed the neighborhood restaurant at the end of 2018. Chef’s Kitchen opened in 2005.
Happy Burrito, 525 E. Grand Ave. — The Mexican restaurant lasted only a few months near downtown Des Moines.
National chain restaurants that closed in 2018
Village Inn, 3600 E. 14th St. – The Village Inn had operated in the same location for 47 years before closing in late February. The Denver-based company operates about 200 restaurants and decided not to renew its lease on East Fourteenth.
Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, 4508 University Ave., West Des Moines - The Texas-based chain's parent company, CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries, closed the eatery because of lagging sales. Rock Bottom was one of the early microbreweries in the metro when it opened in 1997.
Cowboy Chicken, 802 S.E. Oralabor Road – The chicken restaurant closed abruptly this fall after operating for 14 months in Ankeny. The Texas-based chain sold dishes made with rotisserie chicken.
Other notable closings
Nick’s Tenderloins, West Glen Town Center, 5465 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines
Chalet Restaurant and Bar, Valley West Mall, 1551 Valley West Dr., West Des Moines
Chicago Pizza, 2025 Grand Ave., West Des Moines
Bordy’s Pizzeria at Drake, 3018 Forest Ave.
Something Italian,400 Walnut St #2, Des Moines, IA 50309