DES MOINES, Iowa — It was an abandoned business in a forgotten corner, but this week it has Scott and Whitney Selix feeling lucky.
“This building kind of fell in our lap,” laughs Scott Selix.
“It feels like it’s meant to be,” adds Whitney Selix, his wife and business partner.
Those who remember it as an auto parts store won’t believe their eyes. And those who’d driven down Grand Avenue and never taken notice, will never do so again.
“It’s a lot of small things that came together,” Scott says, “and as I look at the building now and I’m really blown away by what everybody created.”
Either/Or — a quirky name that’s somehow fitting.
Set up for either indoor or outdoor dining, either dressed up or dressed down, for either date night or time with the kids.
“It was a big rectangle so we got to do whatever we wanted with it,” says Whitney, gesturing at the huge, glass garage doors open to join Either/Or’s fancy interior with its patio.
It was Whitney’s design inside, but they both saw potential in the more-than-one-acre of land outside.
“We saw how big the patio could be,” Scott explains. “We have three kids and we thought there’s room for a giant patio, fire pits, all the adult stuff, but we could also have the children’s playscape…”
Flooding could cause problems along the edge of the property, but the Selixes are adventurous. They were among the first to open in Sherman Hill (Lua Brewing), and they’ll be the first to open a restaurant in this area in years.
“We get ‘recruited’ I suppose, out to the suburbs often,” says Scott, “and we just don’t have a lot of passion for strip malls and we want to be a part of a neighborhood.”
It’s a trade any neighborhood would gladly make — a derelict business for a shiny new one. One showing green grass on both sides of the fence.
“I’m sure there’ll be things we’ve missed, but I feel really good right now,” Whitney laughs.
Either/Or opens Friday, September 15th at 11 a.m.