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Jethro's BBQ to open new location in downtown Des Moines

The Jethro's BBQ on Forest Avenue near Drake University will remain permanently closed.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
File photo of restaurant menu.

DES MOINES, Iowa — A well-known barbecue restaurant is expanding into the heart of downtown Des Moines.

Jethro's BBQ is opening a new location at 221 Park St., right next to the Iowa Events Center.

"We've been looking at downtown forever, trying to find the right location," said owner Bruce Gerleman. "When this location became available, we jumped on it just like that." 

The downtown restaurant will be the eighth Jethro's BBQ in the metro. The chain is best known for its over-the-top entrees, including the Adam Emmenecker sandwich

It gained a substantial following from foodies across the world after being featured on more than a dozen national and international TV shows., including "Man vs. Food".

The new restaurant will seat about 350 people and feature two floors: one for dining and one for socializing. 

"[It's] a place where all the concertgoers and all the people coming to all the athletic events can come in and party and get food and drink and have fun," Gerleman said. 

It will take approximately six to seven months to retrofit the building into a restaurant space. With this in mind, Gerleman believes the new location will open in spring of 2023. 

"It's going to make downtown an even more fun and happening place," he said.

Gerleman also confirmed the original Jethro's BBQ restaurant near Drake University will remain permanently closed. 

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