Excellent pizza because there is no
substitute for quality!
Chuck’s is a Des Moines landmark serving excellent Italian American entrees since 1956. Best known for thin crust pizza that is still made and baked in our store front window. The menu features family recipes and homemade Italian specialties using only the freshest ingredients.
Chuck’s Restaurant Has A New Owner
Feb 26, 2014 | by Lee Rood |
Emily Jones, a manager at Saints Pub in Beaverdale, is the proud new owner of a Des Moines institution: Chuck’s Italian-American Restaurant.
Jones purchased the Highland Park landmark after the death last November of its longtime owner Linda Bisignano. Bisignano contacted the Watchdog last September, saying cancer was getting the best of her and that she wanted to find a new owner for her family’s 58-year-old business.
Her cousin, Joe Bisignano, said Jones read that article and was one of several in the hospitality industry who expressed an interest in buying. Jones “is going to be very successful,” Bisignano said. “It’s very possible that some of the best years of the Bisignano family in the restaurant business and Chuck’s restaurant are still to come.”
Jones said Wednesday she had been to Chuck’s hundreds of times as a customer. But it wasn’t until she looked at the place alone as a potential buyer that she fell in love with the idea of owning it.
“I don’t want to replace Linda,” she said. “But I know how important a restaurant and small business can be in a community, and I want to continue the legacy.”
Jones said she will begin full-time at the restaurant on Monday, March 3, and close until Tuesday, March 11. She said she plans to keep all the employees, and the food and music largely the same. The only change will be a new computer system.
Chuck’s got its humble start as a bar run by Chuck and Elizabeth Bisignano, and later became a family restaurant serving southern Italian fare, expanding as nearby property became available. Chuck’s brother, Alphonse “Babe” Bisignano, worked at the restaurant but eventually opened Babe’s, a downtown fixture for a half-century.
Joe Bisignano said Jones has considerable experience as a manager and the work ethic to continue Chuck’s success. And she has agreed to continue Linda’s biggest pet project: Feeding 3,500 hungry folks for free on Thanksgiving with the help of local churches and a team of volunteers.
Chuck’s To Undergo Historic Renovation
Oct 2, 2020, | by Kim Norvell |
One of Des Moines' oldest restaurants will undergo a historic renovation as the neighborhood around it experiences a renaissance of sorts.
About $1.4 million will be invested in the 125-year-old building that's home to Chuck's Restaurant, 3610 Sixth Ave., to fix a falling roof and exterior wall, upgrade mechanical systems, improve the façade and renovate five upstairs apartments that have been vacant for several years.
The project is a partnership between the restaurant's owner, Emily Jones; Neighborhood Development Corp.; and Invest DSM, a nonprofit designed to make investments in four target neighborhoods to improve housing stock, increase amenities and attract new businesses.
The renovation is one of several high-profile changes in the historic Highland Park and Oak Park neighborhoods, where Invest DSM has spent nearly $750,000 on upgrades and special projects in the past year.
The Sixth Avenue business district in Highland Park has been a major focus, including a complete overhaul of the beloved Highland Park Bakery ; the planned Slow Down Coffee Co. in the space formerly occupied by Hiland Park Hardware, which closed last fall; the opening of a modern-day general store called Des Moines Mercantile; and façade improvements at Ichi Bike, whose owner has opened an office in the neighborhood.
"It's been really exciting to see the momentum," said Amber Lynch, executive director of Invest DSM. "The business owners in this area think this is a place that is worthy of their investment, and they want to stay there and grow their businesses there."
Neighborhood Development Corp., which has partnered in all the latest projects, will purchase the building that houses Chuck's. It will be responsible for leasing the apartments, which have been vacant for at least six years.
The five one-bedroom apartments should be available for lease in the spring, said Abbey Gilroy, executive director of NDC. Rents have not been set, though they will be affordable for the neighborhood, she said.
Few housing units exist in the business district, though others are in the works, Lynch said. Neighborhood Development Corp. is working to rehabilitate an eight-unit apartment building on Fifth Avenue, while a private developer has purchased a 10-unit building on Euclid Avenue.
"There will be a number of new housing units coming online, all at good, affordable rental rates, which will just help support the business in this area," Lynch said.
Chuck's has been a neighborhood staple since it opened in 1956. It got its humble start as a bar run by Chuck and Elizabeth Bisignano and later became a family restaurant serving southern Italian fare, expanding as nearby property became available. Jones purchased the restaurant in 2014 after the death of longtime owner Linda Bisignano.
The restaurant is known for its pizza, pasta, live music, and its annual Thanksgiving dinner , which serves thousands of hungry Iowans for free.
"Chuck's is an important part of the Highland Park/Oak Park neighborhoods, and we are excited to continue investing in this area," Jones said in a news release.