Eighth Street rising
Eighth Street in West Des Moines was our first trendy suburban restaurant zone. Cork & Cleaver, Jimmie's American Café (JAC), Eighth Street Seafood, Cabo San Lucas, Fratello's, Toscano, and Pain, Pane all launched there within three blocks of the freeway. Garcia's thrived after moving from Douglas Avenue. Sam & Gabe's buzzed a block off the street on University Avenue. All are gone now. Several were direct victims of a 1995 sexual harassment lawsuit won by Kelly Ayers (daughter of CIETC scandal's Ramona Cunningham) over Jimmie Lynch (JAC). Others were indirect victims as a falling tide lowers all boats, and JAC had been the mother ship. In April, JAC's long-vacant parking lot filled with construction trucks as Tommy Mauro (Pelican Club) hustled to reopen the place, this time with Italian menus.