When Brian Junge was considering bringing Falbo Bros. Pizzeria to Des Moines, he carefully scoped out locations. It’s easy to find pizza places south of University Avenue on East 14th Street, but if you’re headed north it’s a pizza desert until you get to Scornovacca’s north of Euclid Avenue. That’s what prompted him to open his pizzeria at 1246 E. 14th St.
If you’ve lived in Iowa City or Dubuque, Falbo might be a familiar name to you, but it’s new to the Des Moines area. Falbo Bros. got its start 20 years ago in Madison, Wis., and over the years has expanded to Iowa and Colorado.
“Falbo Bros. tend to focus on college towns, but there are so many schools here that it seemed to make sense,” Junge said. “The area was also lacking in great pizza, which made this a good location to pick.”
But this isn’t just another chain landing in Des Moines. Falbo Bros. makes all its dough and sauces in-store daily. It has location-specific pies like the Graziano Monster and the Alfredo chicken cordon bleu pizza. Pizzas are available in thin, deep dish and stuffed versions. Fries and onion rings are made fresh as well.
The restaurant also makes its own calzones (called Falzones) and will soon be debuting fruit Falzones, similar to a homemade Hostess Fruit Pie.
The restaurant currently doesn’t serve beer or wine, but Junge hopes to change that by the end of the month. He wants to keep Falbo Bros. focused on the pizza, though, not the drinks.
He runs a $1.50 slice special from 2 to 5 p.m. on weekdays to attract kids from nearby East High School, and has a video game section with Sopranos pinball, Big Buck Hunter, Mortal Kombat 3 and more to keep kids entertained. There’s also a pool table, and a stage where Junge plans to hold karaoke soon. (He also owns Des Moines Karaoke & DJ Service.)
“I want this to be a family-oriented place,” Junge said. “We’re talking about doing kids’ karaoke on Sundays so families can come in together.”
Falbo Bros. delivers within a five mile radius of the store, but Junge said he won’t turn down delivering an order unless the restaurant is too busy or the destination is so far that the pizza would arrive cold.
Falbo Bros. Pizzeria
Where: 1246 E. 14th St.
Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday, 11 a.m.-midnight Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Friday and Saturday
Info: 265-6565; falbobrosdesmoines.com