I-80 interchange opens in Waukee12/9/2015
A $50 million “diverging diamond” interchanged open to traffic on Dec. 1 on the new Grand Prairie Parkway. Located about three miles west of Jordan Creek Parkway, the interchange is the first of its kind in Iowa. Drivers are directed to the opposite side of the road to provide easier access to the interstate by allowing traffic to merge freely, rather than waiting at a stoplight. Grand Prairie Parkway currently runs north to University Avenue in Waukee and by next year will reach to Mills Civic Parkway in West Des Moines. It will eventually connect to Veterans Parkway.
Guru BBQ opens in Des Moines
Des Moines’ latest barbecue joint has opened at 300 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, Suite 170. Patrick Cashman, Ryan LePera and Marc LePera opened Guru in the former home of Des Moines Brewing Co. The building has been converted into a three-level restaurant and bar scene that also features Fuzzy’s Tacos and Jimmy John’s. Guru BBQ takes up 3,000 square feet and features ribs, brisket, chopped pork and other items. Guru BBQ is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday through Thursday; and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday. Call 777-2500 or visit http://gurubbqdsm.com.
West Des Moines tech company sold for $10.6 million
Social Money, a financial tech company based in West Des Moines, was sold to Texas-based Q2 Holdings for $10.6 million cash. Social Money launched in 2008 as a startup with Smarty Pig, which is a platform that lets customers set up their own savings goals. In 2013, the company expanded to India. The company announced in January that it had partnered with the Gates Foundation to help low-income users in India. Social Money focused on developing products and technology to help users — both financial institutions and individuals — save money at a lower cost. It announced several new clients in the last year and a half, including Sallie Mae and H&R Block. Q2 announced plans to offer a rebranded version of Social Money’s technology in the next year. Social Money, led by CEO Scott McCormack, has 12 employees that will now be part of Q2 but remain in Des Moines.
American Outlaws opens downtown
A new country bar made its debut in downtown debut earlier this year. The two-level American Outlaws joins the lineup of bars at 214 Third St. in the former location of Kamodo Klub. Jason Smithson owns the bar, which is open seven days a week. Call 778-6348 or visit www.facebook.com/americanoutlawsbar.
Coffee and bagels now available on Mills Civic
Caribou Coffee and Einstein Bros. Bagels have opened in a new joint building located at 5901 Mills Civic Parkway in West Des Moines, in front of REI and The Fresh Market. Caribou moved from its former location in West Glen, which closed Nov. 29. The new store opened Dec. 4 and is managed by Dean Wenell. Einstein Bros. Bagels also has a location at Grand View University. Hours are 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday; 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday; and 5: 30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday.
Iowa Functional Health opens
Jennifer Welch, a certified internal health specialist and chiropractor, has opened Iowa Functional Health at 699 Walnut St., Suite 475, in Des Moines. Located in the Hub Tower, Iowa Functional Health offers functional medicine, described as a whole-person approach to health care that involves lifestyle, nutrition and diet. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday; and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Friday. Call 897-7900, visit www.iowafunctionalhealth.com or find it on Facebook.
Whiskey River planned for Ankeny
Nicki and Joe Romare, owners of Founders Irish Pub in Bondurant and Whiskey River in Ames, plan to open another Whiskey River location in Ankeny. The bar and restaurant will also include a reception hall called The District Venue. The owners are constructing a 10,000-square-foot building in the Prairie Trail development, with plans to open in the fall of 2016. The new location will have a ground-level patio as well as a rooftop patio, and the reception hall will have a separate entrance and capacity of 300 people. Whiskey River will be located at the corner of Vintage Parkway and S.W. Merchant Street. CV