Django to Close in February, Re-Open in New Location

DES MOINES, Iowa -- One of the city's most popular restaurants is closing their doors... at least for now.

Django's last day in business will be February 17th but the move isn't because the establishment is failing, far from it.

Django is simply shutting down because the hotel it's located in, Hotel Fort Des Moines, is gearing up for renovations; and diners surrounded by construction noise isn't exactly the business model Orchestrate Hospitality had in mind.

“Every part of the Fort Des Moines fabric needs to be replaced. The mechanical is outdated, the plumbing is outdated, the electrical is outdated, and out kitchen and restaurant is in the middle of this” said Django Co-Owner Paul Rottenberg.

The Django ownership team decided that closing the place and re-opening somewhere else would be the best decision, and the hotel's developer, Hawkeye Hotels, agreed.

“I'm a big fan of Django and a big fan of Orchestrate as well as Paul Rottenberg and Jeff Hunter who sold me the hotel. They run great businesses in Des Moines and anytime you have to see a business like that relocate it's not the best feeling, but I think we all agreed that it's the best thing for the project and the best thing for the city and that area of Des Moines for the hotel to be able to go through the full construction process” said Raj Patel of Hawkeye Hotels.

Rottenberg says they would like to move to another location in the central business district, and the new place will essentially be Django 2.0.

“We probably won't find a room that's got historic marble floors and plaster ceilings, we're not looking for that, but maybe it won't be such a bad thing to bring Django into to 2018 in kind of a different way that addresses the next 10 years” he said.

Fans of the classic Django don't worry, the things that are popular at Django will still be around.

“The parts of it that are very popular, the raw oyster bar, the charcuterie, the things that we do that aren't readily available around town I think we can continue to do in a different environment” said Rottenberg.

As for Hotel Fort Des Moines Patel expects to receive the historical tax credits needed for renovation by the end of February at which point they can start construction.

Rottenberg says while they haven’t selected a location for the move, he has plenty of suitors.