Mullets breakfast restaurant opens its first franchise in Ankeny in 2023


  • Mullets is now in the franchise business, with a first opening in early 2023.
  • Uptown of Ankeny becomes the first.
  • Breakfast, cocktails, rooftop terrace and more are expected.

Mullets, Des Moines’ roadhouse restaurant with breakfast fare and a penchant for all things business up front, party in back, is on the move. The restaurant with hour-long weekend queues and framed photos of sports stars with mules plans to open in downtown Ankeny at SW Third Street and SW Maple Street.

If all goes according to plan, it will mark the first franchise for the cheeky restaurant, owner John Royer said. “We are known for our great breakfast and great breakfast drinks.”

Tim Kovacevich, owner of Kippy’s Place in Elkhart, is opening the restaurant, which will feature the same menu. Royer said this location plans to offer hours later a rooftop patio and bands in the building being built from the ground up near the High Trestle Trail. Construction is expected to be complete by December and Mullets will open in January or February 2023.

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Royer, who bought Mullets from Des Moines Full Court Press restaurateurs in 2016, also co-owns The Chicken, the roadside restaurant that serves Full Court Press’s Southern chicken dishes in what was once Orilla, just off the Great Western Trail.

Mullet nachos are just one of the dishes on the restaurant menu facing the Parc Principal.

By the end of 2022, Royer said he will have five new Mullets franchises signed and 10 total in the works. Waukee, Waterloo and Ames can all expect their own versions of the restaurant, he said.

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The original Mullets at 1300 SE First St. in Des Moines, across the river from Principal Park – home of the Iowa Cubs minor league baseball team – offers breakfast items such as eggs Benedict, baked pizza, omelettes, salmon hash browns and the morning mullet with two eggs and hash browns served on a half order of cookies and gravy.

Burgers, sandwiches, pizzas, smoked ribs, soups, salads and seafood are also part of the menu. Loaded bloody marys, mimosas, flights of the two, margaritas, and a punch brunch round out the drink menu. Mullets serves Pepsi products.

Mullets in Des Moines is open Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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Susan Stapleton is entertainment editor at the Des Moines Register. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter or email him at [email protected].

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