The Latin King, a 73-year-old landmark Italian restaurant on Des Moines’s east side, is getting a new owner for the first time since 1983.
Bob and Amy Tursi are handing the keys to Whitney VinZant, a Kansas City, Missouri-based restaurateur who already owns Fresko and Louie’s Wine Dive in Des Moines. Bob Tursi acquired Latin King from original owner and third cousin Jim Pignari, who established it in 1947. Both families hail from Terravecchia, Italy.
According to a news release, VinZant intends to retain the current management, kitchen and wait staff but will update the restaurant’s cocktail and wine menu, renovate the restrooms and add patio seating to the 2200 Hubbell Ave. location.
VinZant operates five restaurants in Kansas City, including a Louie’s Wine Dive. Bob Tursi will continue to work with Latin King as a consultant.
Elle Wignall covers dining for the Register. Reach her at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @ElleWignallDMR.