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HomeBusinessThompsons Named 2023 Iowa Restaurateurs of the Year

Thompsons Named 2023 Iowa Restaurateurs of the Year

Dave and Jean Thompson

Dave and Jean Thompson, owners of Urban Restaurant Group, outside their West Des Moines location.

The Iowa Restaurant Association is pleased to name Dave and Jean Thompson of Urban Restaurant Group as 2023’s Iowa Restaurateurs of the Year. The Thompsons' restaurant portfolio includes Des Moines metro favorites Urban Grill in Urbandale, District 36 Wine Bar in Ankeny, Urban Cellar in West Des Moines and their newest ventures, Urban on the Square, Urban Brewing and Urban Taproom and Grill, which are coming soon to Winterset. The award recognizes leaders in the culinary industry for their commitment to culinary innovation, quality, mentorship and exceptional service.

“We are truly thrilled and humbled to receive the Restaurateurs of the Year award,” says Dave. “This is a testament to the hard work and passion of our entire team, from our talented chefs to our dedicated front-of-house staff. We’re committed to providing each guest with exceptional dining experiences, and this recognition demonstrates that we are on the right path.”

While technically retired, turning over operations to family and longtime employees, the couple says they are excited for the projects currently in development. Despite making the switch to hospitality, they can’t resist the challenge and thrill of building something new.

The Urban Restaurant Group’s locations have been long celebrated for their innovation in New American cuisine, New Italian American cuisine and exceptional wine selections. The Thompsons' establishments bridge casual and elegant, which is a quality that is not often achieved successfully in dining. 

Beyond focusing on creating the best dining experience for every customer, the Thompsons believe mentoring their staff is a crucial part of their success in an industry that can be challenging. 

“Empowering our team members, creating partnership models and providing the opportunity to people who want to be in the business is the legacy we hope to leave behind,” says Jean. “We ask our team ‘Where do you want to be in two, five and 10 years?’ and if we’re in a position to help, we want to help them open doors and achieve their goals.”

In addition to culinary excellence, the couple strives to make everything they touch family-focused and family-friendly, illustrated by the next generations of Thompsons at the helm of their properties and the fact that Dave and Jean are frequently the faces that greet patrons at Urban Grill and Urban Cellar. 

“I love the energy and rush of a busy restaurant, and I just can’t convince myself to fully retire,” says Dave. “The customers that ultimately become great friends and giving young people an opportunity in the industry we love are the most rewarding aspects of my job.”

Urban Grill, District 36 Wine Bar, Urban Cellar and Urban on the Square offer diverse and innovative menus that showcase the finest ingredients, a wide selection of wines and specialty cocktails and a reputation for creating unforgettable dining experiences. With warm and welcoming atmospheres, exceptional service and dedication to the communities they serve, these restaurants have all become beloved culinary destinations. 

To learn more about the menus or schedule a reservation or private party, visit the restaurants’ websites

Contact Information:
Joe Kelly
[email protected]

Original Source: Thompsons Named 2023 Iowa Restaurateurs of the Year
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