No More Spaghetti

Norwalk community feels the loss after Spaghetti Works closes.


Jenny and Chris Thomas pose for a picture during their rehearsal dinner at Spaghetti Works on October 17, 2008. Jenny Thomas said she will miss the restaurant deeply.

Riley Samuelson, Staff Writer

Spaghetti Works, a restaurant that has been a part of the downtown Des Moines scene for over 45 years, closed on March 27, and this has impacted Norwalk students and staff.

According to a Des Moines Register Article, a sign was posted on the front door earlier that day that said in all caps, “We appreciate the business and the regulars we all have gotten to know over the past 45 years.” 

Jenny Thomas, teacher at Norwalk High School, said she has many fond memories of the restaurant.

“When I think of Spaghetti Works, one of my earliest memories is going there with my family as a little kid,” she said. “My family and my uncle’s family were there, and my dad and his brother were having a contest to see how many plates of pasta they could eat.”

Thomas said she made more memories throughout her adult life. 

“When I got married in 2008, we ended up having our rehearsal dinner at Spaghetti Works,” Thomas said. “That is a really special memory for me.”

Senior Joey Gulbronson also said he liked going to Spaghetti Works. 

“I probably went to Spaghetti Works five or six times a year, once every couple of months,” he said. 

Gulbronson said he liked multiple items on the menu. 

“It was just one of my favorite restaurants,” he said. “All the food there was very memorable. In all the times I’ve been there, the lasagna was just top-notch.” 

With Spaghetti Works closing, the downtown area will not be the same. 

“I felt a lot of emotions when I saw they were closing. Mostly sadness, a little bit of rage too. I was very emotional,” Gulbronson said. 

Thomas also said she had multiple emotional connections to the restaurant. 

“I have memories from different tables or booths like, ‘That was the place I sat with my dad the last time he ate here,’ or ‘This is where I sat for my rehearsal dinner,’ or ‘I remember sitting up here when the kids were little.’” Thomas said. “I kind of grew up with that restaurant.”

Gulbronson said Des Moines will not be the same without Spaghetti Works.

“It will definitely narrow the number of restaurants I will go to in the Des Moines area,” Gulbronson said. “It was a classic, so I will have to find some other places to eat.”

Thomas said she felt the same. 

“It will be hard, because it was our go-to place downtown,” Thomas said. “We are going to have to find a new place to enjoy.”