DES MOINES, IOWA — “Nobody saw this coming,” says Ted Hawley, owner of Beer Can Alley bar. “It really happened right out of the clear, blue sky,” adds Jeff Bruning, who owns several others in the area.
On Tuesday, all anyone on Court Avenue could talk about was the sudden vacancy on their block. The Old Spaghetti Works closed for business for good with just hours notice to employees after 45 years in the district.
“I mean it’s a staple,” says Hawley, “it’s been there forever, we’re all sad to see it go.”
However, Hawley and Bruning say they sympathize. The district has weathered decades of problems from floods, lack of parking and late-night violence.
“Now you throw in pandemic…now you throw in rising costs for food, workers, et cetera,” adds Hawley, “there’ve been so many just unprecedented things the last three years and change, it’s made it tough.”
The restaurant rarely advertised or changed its menu. It had shrunk its bar and patio space as well. Despite their failure, neighbors predict the property will be filled very soon.
“I was actually surprised I haven’t heard that somebody has already,” says Bruning.
“I truly believe someone can come in and put something there and be very successful,” says Hawley.