Longtime Iowa Restaurant Abruptly Closes Its Doors For Good
Even if you've never eaten there, you probably recognize the name of an Iowa restaurant that has closed after 45 years in business. They served customers on the same city street the entire time.
Spaghetti Works, which opened on Court Ave. in downtown Des Moines in 1948, abruptly closed for good Monday night. It left customers wondering what happened to a restaurant that was a go-to for not only locals but visitors to the city, as well.
Located within walking distance of Wells Fargo Arena, Spaghetti Works was a popular place for visitors to concerts and state tournaments in Iowa's capital city. The restaurant was also within walking distance of Principal Park (home of the Iowa Cubs), the State Capitol, and the Science Center of Iowa. So, what happened?
Just a week ago, the restaurant was celebrating the beginning of spring.
Unfortunately, the 'what happened' question has a two-part answer. We Are Iowa in Des Moines confirmed the restaurant did indeed close for good Monday night at 8 p.m., with very little notice for anyone.
KCCI reports workers at Spaghetti Works learned of the closing Monday morning. Customer Jordan Humphreys found out about the closing while eating at the restaurant on Monday. He told WHO-TV, "The waitress just came up and said, 'I'm losing my job tonight and we are no longer going to be here in the morning.'" The closure has left over 50 people out of work.
According to We Are Iowa, a sign on the door Monday night read, "Spaghetti Works will be closing its doors permanently March 27, 2023. We appreciate the business and the regulars we all have gotten to know over the past 45 years."
Spaghetti Works President Shelly Stokes told KCCI that although Spaghetti Works has three locations, only the Des Moines one didn't recover from the pandemic. She believes part of the reason is so many workers from the downtown area are now working from home. Though the closing was sudden, Stokes shared, "It's very difficult. We've been discussing this for the last three years."
Stokes also claims, "There is a perception in the Des Moines area that Court Ave. isn't safe. I don't agree with the perception."
While I don't know the circumstances, it's disappointing that a business could consider a closure for three years, but couldn't give customers or workers any notice until the last day of operations. A void is left behind for customers and workers alike. There's no chance for anyone to say goodbye, or for employees to begin looking for other work while preparing to be without that income.
The other two Spaghetti Works locations, in Ralston and Omaha, Nebraska, both appear to remain open. Each of those restaurants has also been in business for more than four decades.