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On the Move

Lurra Cocina opens in Des Moines


Lurra Cocina, a Mediterranean and Spanish restaurant, opened Oct. 23 at 1420 Locust St. in Des Moines. The 5,000-square-foot space seats 120 and is open for lunch and dinner. Mike Crownover, who previously worked at Django and Centro, operates the restaurant, and Spencer Vandeberg, who owns a construction company, remodeled and financed the project. The menu is made up of traditional Mediterranean fare, such as paella, tapas and entrees. Gluten-free and vegetarian dishes are available as well. Nickolas Illingworth is the chef at Lurra and has previously worked at The Cheese Shop and Blue Tomato Kitchen. Lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday; dinner is served from 4-10 p.m., Sunday through Thursday; and 4-11 p.m., Friday and Saturday. Call 635-0952 or visit

Firehouse Subs opens first metro restaurant
Des Moines’ first Firehouse Subs location has opened at 3710 Merle Hay Road in a retail development on the corner of Merle Hay and Douglas Avenue. Firehouse is a fast-casual restaurant that serves hot sandwiches, cold sub sandwiches, salads and chili. It is a Florida-based chain founded by brothers and former firefighters, and it operates more than 900 restaurants around the U.S. Its other Iowa locations are in Ames, Cedar Rapids and Council Bluffs. The Des Moines store is owned by Jeff Kelderman, a franchisee who plans to open another Firehouse Subs at Paradise Pointe in West Des Moines and another on Ingersoll Avenue by the end of the year. Hours are 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., daily. Call 276-5822, visit or find it on Facebook.

Art gallery opens in East Village
Carly Zuendel has opened an art gallery called Moxie in the East Village at 505 E. Grand Ave. Zuendel studied art and design at Iowa State University and graphic design at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. The gallery, which was started to promote local artists, is in the same building as Raygun, Domestica, Thelma’s Treats and Mars Café. Moxie offers artwork from about 10 artists, many of them local. Paintings, prints, jewelry, home goods and 3D-printed sculptures and jewelry are all available. The work is displayed on 24-foot walls, and some are installed on pulleys to make it easier for closer viewing. Moxie is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Call 201-4111, visit or find it on Facebook.

Two hotels open in West Des Moines
Hampton Inn & Suites and Homewood Suites have opened recently in West Des Moines. Kinseth Hospitality Companies of North Liberty owns both properties, as well as 71 hotels in 11 states. Hampton Inn is located at 6160 Mills Civic Parkway and has 30 suites and 72 standard rooms. Its amenities include an indoor pool and hot tub, fitness center, free Wi-Fi and free breakfast. Homewood Suites is located at 6220 Stagecoach Drive and has 100 suites including studio, one- or two-bedroom suites with kitchens. The hotel offers free Wi-Fi, a pool, hot tub, free breakfast and dinner Monday through Thursday. Two other hotels are planned for West Des Moines: Hyatt Place, TownPlace Suites and Element Hotel. Contact the Hampton Inn & Suites at 218-1110, visit or find it on Facebook. Contact Homewood Suites at 218-7500, visit or find it on Facebook.

Personal chef service expands to Des Moines
A Kansas City-based personal chef service called Friend that Cooks has opened in Des Moines. For an hourly fee, personal chefs offer weekly meal preparation, cooking lessons and wine and dinner parties in the homes of its clients. Meals are made from scratch and vary in ethnic cuisines and special diets such as vegan and vegetarian. Owner Brandon O’Dell said chefs use local ingredients and shop where the client prefers. The hourly rate is $37, plus the cost of groceries. Planning, shopping and preparing for six days for a family of four takes about five hours, according to O’Dell. Each chef serves about 10 local families, and currently Friend that Cooks has one chef in Des Moines. Others will be added as the client list grows. Call 661-4592, visit or find it on Facebook. CV

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