From Ecuador to New York to Des Moines to Newton — that is the trip Rigoberto Ochoa made to open his new restaurant, Yanni’s Bar & Grill, an Italian and Greek restaurant in Newton.
“I was looking for a place. I got a call that a place was for lease. I went to the town because I had never been there. I looked at the business and it was good,” Ochoa said. “I feel like I want to be in a small town, so I decided to go to Newton.”
Ochoa said the restaurant will likely open toward the end of May.
Originally for Ecuador, Ochoa moved to New York at the age of 15 and began working in restaurants. In 1996, he, along with his brother, were recruited to work at The Latin King in Des Moines. After five years the two decided to open their own business with their first location at Clocktower Square in West Des Moines.
Their current location in Ankeny was opened in 2003 and after a little more than 10 years, Ochoa decided he wanted to look for his next venture. He originally wanted to look in West Des Moines, but decided to take a look at the Newton building, 2002 First Ave. E., and knew it was for him.
“I like the town so I might even move myself over there,” Ochoa said.
Ochoa plans to bring his daughter along to help in the new restaurant, but is looking to hire staff locally. Ochoa plans to bring the same great recipes from the Ankeny location for Newton and Jasper County residents to enjoy.
Italian favorites include Yanni’s homemade pasta, baked lasagna and raviolis while the Greek entrées consist of a gyro platter and chicken soulvaki among many others. Wine will also be served.
The restaurant will be available for private parties to rent for business meetings, birthdays or just a social gathering. For now, Ochoa is working to get his restaurant ready for customers, but he said to look in the coming weeks for a grand opening date.
Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or email@example.com