With the addition of a new building, Hawthorne Plaza will be expanding into an 85,000-square-foot complex.
Located at 9250 University Avenue in West Des Moines, the newly constructed 29,000-square-foot space will house multiple tenants. According to Andy Hodges, Vice President of Signature Real Estate, the new building will include a retail location for CenturyLink and two new restaurants. Both restaurants will use state-of-the-art technology to bring fresh concepts to metro diners.
Slated to open in the spring of 2015 as of press time, 7 Stone Pizzeria will occupy a 2,300-square-foot space. The owner, Kara Horn, has a long personal history with pizza. She previously owned a pizza franchise in northeast Iowa and decided to go her own way in order to branch out and get more creative with her own ideas. After looking for about a year, Horn settled on this location. “I really like the area, and the timing for it was good,” she said. The name of the restaurant is in homage to Horn’s roots; her previous store was located at 7th Avenue in Cedar Rapids.
The pizzeria isn’t just your average pie place, either. Although they will have a traditional oven, the kitchen will also be equipped with a high-tech Italian oven that uses both gas and electric heat to cook pizzas on a constantly rotating stone. They’ll serve up pizzas made with house-made ingredients, and wine and craft beers will also be available.
The other new restaurant, Guttenburgers, will specialize in—you guessed it—burgers. “We chose this location because the surrounding area is growing very rapidly,” explained Manager Rob Riley. When searching for sites, Riley recognized a need for more diverse dining options in the area. “We think this is going to be a very high-traffic area and a very close-knit community, and we want to be a part of that,” said Riley.
Guttenburgers will also use new technology to cook a better burger. As Riley explains it, most burger restaurants throw their patty on a flat-top griddle or a grill, which causes the meat to lose weight and size. In contrast, they’ll be using a method that combines heat and steam, resulting in a perfectly cooked, juicy burger. They’ll use Black Angus beef bought locally, and their menu will feature some unusual creations. Take, for example, the Bluff Top Orchard Burger, which features a locally bought Black Angus burger topped with cinnamon, apples, and bacon, and is finished off with brie cheese and a touch of garlic mayo.
As a family-friendly place, Guttenburgers will offer sundaes, milkshakes, malts, and floats made with 24 different flavors of house-made ice cream. There will also be a spacious outdoor patio for those who prefer al fresco dining, and diners will be able to watch the game on several 60-inch TVs with Bose surround sound.
It seems Waukee and West Des Moines will continue to evolve. “University Avenue is a strong corridor for retail office space, and that particular area is one of the faster growing areas in the state of Iowa,” explained Hodges. “It’s in a great location, given the growth that Waukee and West Des Moines are seeing.”