Table 128 will open in March, along with HUGO’s

Come spring, HUGO’s Wood Fired Kitchen will share a building with Meals on Wheels at 3206 University Ave. Photo: Lynn Pritchard.

Writer: Karla Walsh

It’s been two years since we first reported that Table 128 would open downtown, but it’s still not open. Sometimes that’s just how the mini chocolate chip sea salt cookie crumbles.

So I’m happy to report some good news, direct from chef/owner Lynn Pritchard: He plans to open the new place in mid-March at 220 S.W. Ninth St.

While his team has been serving those irresistible cookies at his other place, 503 Cocktail Lab + Tasting Room in the East Village, Pritchard himself has fielded lots of questions about Table 128 from his fans. He said a mix of challenges caused its delay, including the pandemic, shifts in funding that prompted him to enlist an additional investor, and his father’s battle with cancer.

“I pumped the brakes on restaurant work several times to spend as much time with my father and son as possible,” Pritchard said. “I’ll never regret the special times we were able to share.”

Come spring, he hopes to share some special times with his guests at Table 128, including previous regulars from the former location in Clive and newcomers alike. “The single greatest compliment at [the old] Table 128 was when guests would say they feel like they’re at home,” he said.

At the new location, diners will notice some familiar recipes on the menu and familiar faces among the staff. There will be some new features, too, inspired by Pritchard’s 30-plus years in the business, such as lighting in the kitchen that mimics the dining room so chefs can see what diners do — and of course, new recipes.

Around the same time, Pritchard plans to open another restaurant across town: HUGO’s Wood Fired Kitchen, at 3206 University Ave. The new spot in the Drake neighborhood will focus on wood-fired cuisine with nods to recipes, ingredients and techniques from Italy, Lebanon, Turkey, the Balkans and their Mediterranean neighbors. The menu will be “jarringly different from anything else in the metro,” Pritchard said.

The restaurant will share a building with WesleyLife Meals on Wheels, where Pritchard and his team plan to volunteer. “I hold very dear the philosophy that I need to leave this place better than how I found it,” he said, “and my businesses will foster that philosophy, too.”

When Pritchard started planning HUGO’s in the fall of 2021, he didn’t expect to open two restaurants at the same time. “Honestly, I thought Table 128 would have been open for about 14 months by the time HUGO’s came into the light, but here we go,” he said.

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