Lachele's Fine Foods, Art Shows, Home Design Awards
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March 9, 2021  |  VIEW AS WEBPAGE
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Creative use of light, space and custom tile helped modernize the bathroom of this brick Craftsman home while honoring its original charm. See how a corner vanity enabled a layout that flows without compromising storage space.
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The Lachele's Burger is the flagship menu item for the new Ingersoll restaurant Lachele's Fine Foods.


Writer: Karla Walsh

A new burger and sandwich diner spot on Ingersoll Avenue has been quite the popular spot since opening a few weeks ago. Lachele's Fine Foods is owned by Cory Wendel, former executive chef at Aposto at the Scala House, and his wife, Lachele (goes by Lucy), who decided to renovate the former Uncle Wendell's BBQ space (2716 Ingersoll Ave.) into a colorful upscale diner.

But even they couldn't have imagined what happened when they opened Feb. 20.

“As we ran into pandemic-related construction delays, I began to think, ‘Did I make the right decision?’" Wendel says. "When we decided on the day to open, the sun was out, the snow was melting and people were ready for takeout. We’re averaging 40 to 60 hot dogs and 350 burger balls per day.” Wendel says they completely sold out two Saturdays in a row. Lachele's (rhymes with Michelle) is so slammed, in fact, that they can’t accept online or phone orders quite yet, only taking requests in person. Wendel adds, “I apologize about that.”

Diners can order at a walk-up window or can sit at one of three tables in the dining room, with more indoor seating on the way post-pandemic. You’ll be treated to beef smash burgers (with a “finely ground beef from a purveyor who humanely treats their cattle,” Wendel explains), hot dogs (featuring Des Moines-based Berkwood Farms franks), sandwiches (including vegetarian options) and crispy double-fried fries. The concise menu focuses on the food philosophy Wendel honed at Aposto: “No frills and done right.”

Executive chef Jake Cole and cooks sling out an impressive amount of food—and fast. “We aim for a seven-minute ticket time,” Wendel says. “Hands down, the Lachele Burger is our top seller so far. ... In my opinion, the perfect order is a double Lachele Burger, a Weekender Chili Dog and fries.”

This is just the beginning, both for Lachele’s and beyond. Wendel has his sights set on opening a larger, separate brick and mortar for a Lachele’s burger and malt shop. He hopes the brand can act as a launch pad for his team’s dreams, aiming to train his staff so they feel comfortable setting up their own shops as sister brands, like a wood-fired pizza place, steakhouse spot or taco restaurant. Wendel also has ambitious philanthropy plans to support homeless veterans, too.

You can stay up to date on his efforts online or on Instagram. Visit Lachele's for dine-in or takeout Wednesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (or until sold out).

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Olivia Valentine, "Not of longing, but of light" (2019); courtesy of Olivia Valentine and the Des Moines Art Center. The work will be featured at the Des Moines Art Center's "Iowa Artists 2021" exhibition focusing on Valentine and her textiles, drawings and sculptures.


A few galleries and organizations are presenting exhibitions in March. Here's a roundup so you can make your rounds over the next week.

Des Moines Art Center: Opening Friday, "Iowa Artists 2021" features two bodies of work ("Mediate/Equivocate" and "The shadow is my body") by local artist Olivia Valentine, who is known for her textile work, drawings and sculptures. Read our profile on Valentine and her husband, Firat Erdim, from the dsm archive here.

Olson-Larsen Gallery: "Introducing" is open until Friday, showcasing a collection of artwork by the seven new artists the gallery signed last year. Artists include Chris Dahlquist, Kirsten Furlong, R.J. Kern, Crit Streed and Allison Svoboda, as well as Firat Erdim and Olivia Valentine

Polk County Heritage Gallery: "Greater Des Moines Exhibited" is back for a 27th year. The juried show includes almost 50 artists from Greater Des Moines, Polk County and surrounding counties. Winners will be announced via a Facebook livestream on Thursday.

Hoyt Sherman Place: The Des Moines Women's Club is hosting its annual art exhibition at Hoyt Sherman Place through Sunday, with works from a number of Central Iowa artists. Admission to the show is free, but advanced registration is required.
As a finalist in the kitchen category, this high-end home by Projects Contemporary Furniture has all the bells and whistles.


Tonight (4 p.m. via Zoom) will be our first-ever dsm Home Design Awards, when we'll honor local homebuilders, renovators, interior designers, landscapers and more in a variety of categories. We'll also showcase the winners of our Readers' Choice contest and provide an inside look at the March/April and Home issues.

You can also win prizes! Items up for grabs include a $300 cookware set from Warners' Stellian Appliance, a $100 DoorDash gift card from Community State Bank and a $50 gift card from Spectrum Lighting.

You can register for the free event, presented by Community State Bank, here. Find all finalists on our dsm Home Design Awards website.
    Zachary James is an American actor and singer. He created the role of Lurch in "The Addams Family" on Broadway.


    Bass-baritone Zachary James and pianist Charity Wicks will perform in Des Moines Metro Opera's "Zachary James on Broadway" virtual show at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The performance will conclude with an online post-show Zoom reception with James.

    James will draw from a number of musicals from his Broadway career, including "South Pacific," which won a Tony Award, and "The Addams Family." The Broadway star might be familiar to DMMO audiences, performing past shows as John Claggart in "Billy Budd" (2017), Vodník in "Rusalka" (2018), the immigration officer in "Flight" (2018) and the doctor in "Wozzeck" (2019). He'll also be in DMMO's "Platée" this summer.

    Tickets to "Zachary James on Broadway" are $25 per screen. You can also get a takeout meal from Tangerine Food Co., which is offering three-course dinner packages for $35 per person. Bottles of wine are $25 each. The concert will be available for repeat viewing through March 31.
      Dr. Mireya Mayor, a primatologist, is the first speaker on Thursday for the Celebrate! Innovation series. Photo: ciLive! at DMACC.


      The schedule is out for Des Moines Area Community College's annual Celebrate! Innovation series, which starts virtually tomorrow. The two-day event, with the theme "Amplified," features international speakers who are known for innovation in their fields, including a NASA analog astronaut, a leading oceanographer and deep-water explorer, and a top wilderness survivalist.

      Kicking things off at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow is Gabor George Burt, an expert in business innovation, creativity and strategy development. Dr. Mireya Mayor, a primatologist and Emmy Award-nominated wildlife correspondent for the National Geographic Channel, starts Thursday's lineup at 9:30 a.m. The event ends at 1:30 p.m. Thursday with a concert from rock band the Nielson Trust.

      Find the full lineup and registration information here.
        The Des Moines Symphony is broadcasting concerts from the Temple for Performing Arts, with limited musicians to ensure social distancing. Photo: Des Moines Symphony


        The Des Moines Symphony's Live from the Temple series, virtual concerts broadcast from the Temple for Performing Arts, continues next week (7 p.m. on March 18) with "Spring Serenade." The performance will open with Richard Strauss’ "Serenade in E-flat Major," followed by "Petite Symphonie." It closes with Mozart's "G Minor Symphony" and Frederick Delius' "On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring."

        Each broadcast includes interviews and behind-the-scenes footage, along with a post-concert interview with Music Director Joseph Giunta. Streaming passes are $20 per household.

        Table 128 will provide a three-course as well, which you can select when purchasing concert tickets. The full menu ($35 per person) includes spinach salad, duck confit and two profiteroles, with two wine options ($20 per bottle). Find more information here.
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