3 of 5
Des Moines

8737 University Avenue
Clive, Iowa

Currently: Caffrey's Steakhouse
Past occupants: P'Zazz (2003), Zachary's Sports Bar and Grill (1999-2002), Red, Hot & Blue (1998), Garfield's (1990-1996), Mackey's Family Restaurant (1987-1989)

Like a blighted soul warding off vampires, Des Moines restaurateur Annie Baldwin is using garlic to repel the hex of 8737 University Avenue, where she recently opened a steakhouse. But instead of a bulbous necklace, Baldwin's weapon comes in the form of a Montreal-like steak rub, which customers use to help sear their chops and sirloin at the grill-your-own concept restaurant.

"In order to make it here, we had to establish a niche," says Baldwin, 36. "We're going to make this work."

Baldwin, who owns seven other Des Moines-area establishments and three in Minneapolis, is the latest in a long line of bar and nightclub owners who have opened a business at the address, which has always been challenged by unfortunate traffic patterns. Located just off a main drag in an affluent neighborhood, the building's kitty-corner location makes it impossible for cars to turn off 86th street into the lot.

Luckily for Baldwin, the city has initiated a major rezoning of the area, which sometime next year will result in better traffic flow and a walking-friendly district with parks and public art. Until then, Baldwin and her business partner -- armed with two indoor grills the size of pickup truck beds -- will make a go with Caffrey's, which features 100-year old family recipes and corn-fed Iowa beef that Baldwin cuts herself.

"We decided that the only thing that could work was to open a destination spot -- it couldn't be someplace that just served up a good burger," Baldwin says. "But the truth is, no matter where a restaurant is located, you have to work hard at it, every single day." -Maggie Overfelt

NEXT: Charlotte, N.C.

Email | Print | Share  |  RSS
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
LAST UPDATE: Oct 14 2009 | 12:21 PM ET
Best launch spots: See all 50 Growing economies, great workers, stable housing markets -- these metro areas have what entrepreneurs need to thrive. More
Why I Launched HereWe asked entrepreneurs in all 50 Best Places how their hometown treats entrepreneurs. More
Tax havens Want to keep more of your profits? Check out these 5 states where taxes are low -- and in some cases, nonexistent. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.