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On the Move

Vegan café moves location to Des Moines


Fresh Café & Market closed earlier in January, but owner Kerri Rush will reopen the restaurant in the former Rookies Sports Bar and Grill at 6151 Thornton Ave. in Des Moines sometime in April. The new location is larger and will have a long juice bar, dining area and sprout room to grow wheat grass. Rush will offer pick-up service to customers until the new location opens. Fresh opened in 2007 at its former location in West Des Moines. The new store’s drive-up hours will be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Contact Rush at, visit, or find it on Facebook.


B-Bop’s to open new stores across metro

Sales at B-Bop’s seven stores in the metro area have been growing steadily, and with an improved economy, the chain is looking to expand. Robert Johnson, founder and owner of B-Bop’s, purchased and demolished the former Long John Silver’s building at 4500 Fleur Drive. He plans to open a B-Bop’s there this summer, along with several others in the next few years. There are six company-owned restaurants in Des Moines, Windsor Heights, Urbandale, Altoona and Ankeny, and one franchise location in Ames. Johnson plans to add a couple stores to Waukee and one in West Des Moines.


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Okoboji Grill closes Pleasant Hill location

The Okoboji Grill located at 1225 Copper Creek Drive in the Copper Creek Plaza closed on Jan. 12. Owner Leroy Gessmann said the restaurant was no longer profitable, although other Okoboji locations remain open in Johnston, Ankeny, Des Moines, Newton, Ames, Iowa City and Independence. The store’s 35 employees have been offered positions at the other locations.


Ankeny pottery studio moves

Bulldog Ceramics will move from its current space at 200 S.W. State St. to a larger location on Feb. 3. The new space at 613 S. Ankeny Blvd. will accommodate more customers, and owner Tina Norris will also add guided canvas painting to the studio’s offerings. Bulldog Ceramics opened last August, and Norris said business picked up quickly, and she needed to expand. Her shop’s current space has about 1,000 square feet and the new one will have about 5,000. With the expansion, Norris will discontinue her mobile parties, but adults will be able to bring in alcohol for pottery and canvas painting sessions. New studio hours will be 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 1-6 p.m. on Sunday. Visit or find it on Facebook.


Bike-oriented apartment complex planned for downtown

Nelson Construction and Development has plans for a 154-unit apartment complex called Bici Flats that would accommodate cyclists. The $17.5 million project would be a hub for bike trails on the east side of Southeast First Street and a significant investment in the Two Rivers District. Each building will include bike storage areas, repair stands, air pumps and a room for washing bikes. Apartments would have places to store bikes and easy-to-clean flooring so residents won’t need to worry about staining the carpet by rolling their bikes through to the balconies. The complex will be pet-friendly and offer community rooms and yoga studios. Rent is expected to start at $765 for singles and $1,100 for two-bedrooms. The company hopes to begin work in May and complete construction a year later.


Barilla plans Ames expansion

The Italy-based pasta maker Barilla was approved for $765,090 in tax credits to finance a $26.8 million expansion at its Ames plant. The project will add two new production lines dedicated to making gluten-free pasta, which will be shipped to Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Australia and across the U.S. The expansion must also create 23 new jobs for Barilla, two of which paying at least $23.21 an hour. The Iowa Economic Development Authority Board also granted state incentives to Cambrex Corp. (more than $1.5 million), a New Jersey-based company that makes pharmaceutical ingredients, for an expansion to its Charles City campus, and tax credits and refunds to Alter Trading Corp. ($160,225), a St. Louis-based scrap metal recycler, for plans to build a $6.7 million expansion to its Davenport campus. CV

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