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Once abandoned building turned into new restaurant opens in Des Moines

Either/Or is located on Grand Avenue, and opened on Friday after the building stood unoccupied for at least a year.

DES MOINES, Iowa — A new restaurant has found a home on Grand Avenue in Des Moines. 

Either/Or opened to patrons on Friday, welcoming visitors to the building for the first time in more than a year. 

Previously, the building served as an auto parts store before it was abandoned. 

But now residents who drive by won't have to see the abandoned building anymore.

Instead, they'll Either/Or's colorful exterior. And when you step inside, you'll see what Lua Brewing owners Scott and Whitney Selix had in mind aesthetically.

General Manager Natalie Dunbar says they drew inspiration for the restaurant's interior from other local favorites around the metro.

"It was a lot of pulling from, you know, places that we all love and different pieces," Dunbar said. "Such as the color scheme, to the light fixtures, to the sort of mismatch, eclectic grandma's chairs that are at the table."

"Mismatch" is a fitting word for a place called Either/Or. The restaurant offers both an indoor and outdoor dining option. Outdoors, there are fire pits, grass areas and a children's play area.

"You can have kiddos out there," Dunbar explained. "You can have the big, family groups around the fireplaces, or on the patio. But also in here you know, we have space to do sort of more comfortable date nights, sit up at the bar, that kind of a thing."

Either/Or had hundreds of customers show for their opening weekend, and were so busy they had a line outside. If you want to check out Either/Or, it's located on Grand Avenue, off of 1st Street.

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