Phat Daddyz BBQ opening in location with troubled history
A longtime local barbecue restaurant that has had several locations and operated a food truck, has found a new home.
Phat Daddyz BBQ, formerly Phat Boyz BBQ, opens Friday at 508 Indianola Road.
Owner Vernice Kemp and her husband and pitmaster Shedrick Elliott have made improvements to the building and are trying to shake the image surrounding the location, which most recently was The 508 club. The one-time bar has been plagued with arrests and violence, including a Jan. 1 homicide.
Neighbors have complained about previous tenants whose patrons have strewn trash, especially plastic cups, around the area. Unlawfully parked cars on lawns in front of homes and apartments on the weekends had also been an issue.
In March 2016, a bar security guard was shot there after escorting a patron out for allegedly not paying the club's cover fee. In June 2016, a Des Moines police officer was injured while arresting an alleged gang member outside the club. Just days later, the Des Moines Fire Department battled a blaze there.
“This reputation is something we are trying to change,” said Kemp. “We’ve done a lot of remodeling and we want to make it a better safer place.”
She described the business as a restaurant that has a bar. Phat Daddyz will be open until 11 p.m. weekdays and 2 a.m. on weekends. Kemp said the kitchen will be open until about 1 a.m. on the weekends.
In order to keep younger and previously troublesome crowd from gathering later in the evening, Kemp said anyone 30 and younger will be barred from the eatery after 9 p.m.
The Des Moines City Council approved a liquor license for Phat Daddyz on the condition the business signed a good-neighbor agreement to ensure it is monitoring the parking lot for trouble and other issues.
Chris Coleman, Des Moines city councilman, said he is glad to see the business expanding and voted to approve the restaurant's liquor license. He is an advocate of strengthening liquor license laws to protect neighborhoods. He is concerned about trouble with the location and not with the operators.
Phat Daddyz started out as Phat Boyz at another south side location before relocating to Cobblestone Market at 86th Street and Douglas Avenue in Urbandale. It also operated a food truck and was last at a small restaurant space at 3811 Douglas as Phat Daddyz.
Kemp said the restaurant serves barbecue beef, pork and chicken, fish, waffles, french fries and other items.
The restaurant seats about 200.
Hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday and Tuesday through Thursday; and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Call 515-279-4946 or find it on Facebook.