Downtown food court reopens Friday

Downtown lunchgoers, the wait is over.

More than two years after water and smoke damage from a nearby fire shuttered the food court in the Partnership Building in downtown Des Moines, it will reopen Friday with an all-local lineup.

L’Italiano, Moar Tacos, Viva Mexico, Teriyaki Boys, Burger Shop, Jimmy’s Gyros and Local Yocals farmhouse will be open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Some of the eateries have limited menus but are expected to expand their food choice in the next weeks. They might extend their hours for possibly breakfast and dinner in the coming months.

The restaurants are located in the garden level of the newly renovated Partnership Building at 700 Locust St. The food court’s new name is Local Bites.

There were a handful of tenants in the food court when it was shut down after a fire ravaged the adjacent Younkers Building on March 31, 2014. The Greater Des Moines Partnership, which occupied the rest of the building, moved to a temporary space during renovations, but the majority of food court tenants closed for good.

The rebuilt space is filled in part with a long community dining table and several smaller tables. The space has an industrial feel, with concrete floors and exposed duct work and metal chairs. One wall is covered with a mural of downtown Des Moines.

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