DES MOINES, Iowa — A downtown Des Moines staple has closed for good Monday.
Spaghetti Works, a well-known pasta place located on 310 Court Ave., served its last customers Monday as the Des Moines location's run came to an abrupt end.
An employee confirmed with Local 5 that Monday was the restaurant's final night of operation.
A sign on the door read:
"Spaghetti Works will be closing its doors permanently March 27, 2023. We appreciate the business and the regulars we al have gotten to know over the past 45 years."
Since 1978, Spaghetti Works has been a staple in the Court Avenue district. On Tuesday, many were disappointed to see the doors are locked for good.
"Definitely a landmark in Des Moines, it's been here since I was in high school," said Brigit Barnes, a Des Moines resident.
She and Mark Campbell walked by the restaurant together on Tuesday, and are sad to see Spaghetti Works go.
"It was just a fine restaurant, a good time," Campbell said.
"It's a family place," Barnes added. "The foods always really good."
Cambpell ate at the restaurant just last week, unaware the end was was near after 45 years in business.
"Through the floods and the remodels, all the changes that come along with 45 years, we've been there for them," said Shelly Stokes, president of Spaghetti Works.
Stokes said the idea of closing the restaurant came about around the first of the year.
Much of it due to a changing landscape downtown after COVID, when businesses changed how they operate.
"Work from home, they didn't return to the offices," says Stokes.
Barnes has always appreciated the family-friendly atmosphere at Spaghetti Works.
"This is where you took your friends in high school, you had first dates, you had prom lunches here," she said.
But Stokes said the growing bar scene downtown has changed the area's perception.
"I just have to assume that a family restaurant just doesn't fit into that model anymore," Stokes said.
While closing Spaghetti Works is disappointing to her, Stokes is thankful for the time they had.
"We appreciate the 45 years we had in Des Moines and truly do appreciate everybody that came in and gave us their business," Stokes said. "We've had, you know, prom dates and grandparents and parents and weddings and everything come through those doors."
As for the future, Barnes hopes something similar takes the restaurant's place.
"A really good, solid family place, that would be excellent," Barnes said.
The restaurant hasn't posted any notice of its closing on its website or social media accounts.