Chuck’s Restaurant in Des Moines’ Highland Park to get historic remodel


The hardware store that’s been a mainstay of Des Moines’ north side for nearly 90 years is closing its doors.

Des Moines Register

One of Des Moines’ oldest restaurants will undergo a historic renovation as the neighborhood around it experiences a renaissance of sorts. 

About $1.4 million will be invested in the 125-year-old building that’s home to Chuck’s Restaurant, 3610 Sixth Ave., to fix a falling roof and exterior wall, upgrade mechanical systems, improve the façade and renovate five upstairs apartments that have been vacant for several years. 

The project is a partnership between the restaurant’s owner, Emily Jones; Neighborhood Development Corp.; and Invest DSM, a nonprofit designed to make investments in four target neighborhoods to improve housing stock, increase amenities and attract new businesses.

The renovation is one of several high-profile changes in the historic Highland Park and Oak Park neighborhoods, where Invest DSM has spent nearly $750,000 on upgrades and special projects in the past year.

The Sixth Avenue business district in Highland Park has been a major focus, including a complete overhaul of the beloved Highland Park Bakery; the planned Slow Down Coffee Co. in the space formerly occupied by Hiland Park Hardware, which closed last fall; the opening of a modern-day general store called Des Moines Mercantile; and façade improvements at Ichi Bike, whose owner has opened an office in the neighborhood. 

“It’s been really exciting to see the momentum,” said Amber Lynch, executive director of Invest DSM. “The business owners in this area think this is a place that is worthy of their investment, and they want to stay there and grow their businesses there.”

Neighborhood Development Corp., which has partnered in all the latest projects, will purchase the building that houses Chuck’s. It will be responsible for leasing the apartments, which have been

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