dsm Exclusive: Two Restaurant Leaders Join Forces For R+C’s Diner In Windsor Heights

Latkes eggs Benedict is one of many breakfast items you can enjoy at R+C’s Diner, which also boasts brunch and dinner delights. 

Writer: Karla Walsh

Like “Cheers” with a kid-friendly touch, the soon-to-open R+C’s Diner in Windsor Heights will be the place where everyone knows your name. Co-owners Joe Tripp (of James Beard-nominated Harbinger fame) and Simon Goheen (patriarch of Simon’s)—two of Des Moines’ most well-known hospitality pros—will see to it.

I sat down with both of them at the former R I Restaurant (6587 University Ave) to dish about their new partnership in the space, set to debut on June 15.

“It will be a modern diner serving breakfast and dinner with nods to my family’s Jewish roots and an emphasis on family,” Tripp says. “It’s aptly named for our kids Rori [Simon’s daughter] and Clayton [Joe’s son].”

The venue was originally going to be Goheen’s alone (you may have seen a “Rori’s” sign plastered in the window late last year). But as Goheen was picking up his first order of Basic Bird—Tripp’s pandemic fried chicken pop-up—they began chatting about the space and realized they both had bid on it. Just days later, they decided to join forces.

Goheen says he has always enjoyed breakfast, but his business pursuits have focused on classic Italian cuisine (and the fan-favorite red velvet cake) and his Beaverdale bistro. Now he’ll be running the show in the morning, focusing on breakfast and brunch, with some of his veteran Simon’s staff in tow. Tripp and his former sous chef at Harbinger, Mackenzie Schultz, will take the lead for dinner service. Prepare to devour delights like bialy avocado toast, latkes eggs Benedict, liège waffles with whipped ricotta, and riffs on corned beef and matzo ball soup.

Tripp’s wife, Alexandra, is polishing up an epic pastry and dessert program for the eatery, which will feature baked-to-order cookies, pies, cakes and even a dessert cart that will be on display so you can simply call dibs to satisfy your sweet tooth.

The renovated space is cozy and intimate, with tall booths accented by brightly colored Midwest-made paintings, curated from Moberg Gallery. A mural of both families’ kids by Byron Jones Media will adorn the entryway, making it clear that this is a place “where kids want to go, but parents also love to come,” Alexandra says. Cocktails and coffee will be available for the grown-ups, and over-the-top shakes will be served to kids (and kids at heart).

“We want this to be a place for our kids to grow up, too,” Goheen says. “We know brunch is such a hip thing, but we don’t want to be a blip; we’re aiming to be a neighborhood staple in Windsor Heights. Expect consistent, good service.”

A patio will be added to expand dining capacity. Patrons can enjoy dinner Tuesday through Saturday and breakfast Wednesday through Sunday.

Stay tuned for updates about R+C’s Diner on Instagram at @rcsdinerdsm, and soon at rcdinerdsm.com.

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