‘Fat Tuesday’ closing its doors after 12 years of business


DES MOINES, Iowa – After serving customers for 12 years, Fat Tuesday, located on SW 9TH Street in Des Moines, will close on September 30th.

The restaurant’s business manager, Maria James, says the restaurant is closing due to the spread of COVID, a shortage of employees, and the failing health of her husband and restaurant owner, Steven James.

“In 2016, he got colon cancer that metastasized to the liver, and now he’s battling some other health issues related to that liver. So now he’s up for a liver transplant,” said Maria.

For years, both local and national politicians have dined at the restaurant. James says that other people in the community have celebrated birthdays, baby showers, and other special occasions at the restaurant. Many customers say they will miss the food, the restaurant’s ambiance, and seeing the owner, Steven James.

“I miss him now,” said Ree Lee, Fat Tuesday cook, “He should be here with me. Everything I know, I got it from him.”

Although the restaurant is closing Maria believes her husband left a lasting impact on the community.

“He’s a hardworking, intelligent, kind, lovable guy that had a few recipes under his belt that he wanted to share with the world. He brought people together, and he’s a catalyst for that.”

To follow Steven’s health journey, visit the Facebook page for Fat Tuesday.

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