Baru chef opening new doors, Windsor Heights looks to revamp

Baruthio is taking over Mustards along University Avenue

By Claire Powell | cpowell@weareiowa.com

Published 07/20 2016 04:42PM

Updated 07/20 2016 04:54PM

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
WINDSOR HEIGHTS- After decades of planning and phasing, Windsor Heights town center is closing in on being what city officials had pictured. 
 
"Truly Windsor Heights has been found again," said Windsor Heights Mayor Diane Willits.
 
A lot of changes are on the way from 63rd Street spanning all the way to 73rd. 
 
The city council is debating building a bicycle hub and repair shop in an old auto repair store near the Greenbelt Trail. Along with the hub, more walking paths, public pianos and portable patios are on their way, as well. By the end of August 2017, the corner of 66th and University Avenue will be home to a five-story mixed-used building with room for three more restaurants. 
 
"It's truly a resurgence but it's also people looking that this is a great city, in the heart of it all," said Willits. "There's also a surprising amount of millennials that are moving into the city and we're thrilled."
 
In the middle of all the talk is what used to be Mustard's restaurant. The long-time favorite, known for their sugar biscuits, closed down in June.
 
The minute the closed signs went up, an idea popped into David Baruthio's head. He and his wife, who live in Windsor Heights, wanted a glass of wine, on a patio in a laid-back location but realized there weren't many options. 
 
"I thought maybe, just maybe," said Baruthio.
 
At first, he thought the space was too big and surrounding restaurants were too fancy, even including his own Baru 66. 
 
Now he, with the help of former Lurra owner Mike Crownover, are revamping the space. They plan on splitting the large building into a pub and a family dining area on the other, calling it Saison Kitchen and Pub. 
 
Saison, French for season, will offer affordable tapas and meals along with craft beer and other options.
 
"It's the perfect format and less scary since we're running two spaces instead of one," said Baruthio. 
 
He hopes this, with all of the other updates in the works, can make Windsor Heights more of a destination.
 
"You know, we want to make it a friendly community where it's good to go. We want it more on the map," said Baruthio. "We're a small part of it, but we're just excited to be part of it."
 
Saison is scheduled to undergo renovation in the coming weeks and Baruthio hopes to open it by the end of August. 

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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