Pancakes: With a side of history

Alicia Warden

When you think of Campustown, breakfast food usually does not come to mind. But Angie’s Kitchen is trying to change that.

The restaurant, located at 2416 Lincoln Way, opened Friday and has taken a unique approach to dining in Campustown by offering only breakfast foods – at a price any student can afford. On weekends, it’s open later than any other restaurant in the area.

“We’re offering something that isn’t available,” said Lynn Champlin Lloyd, owner of Angie’s Kitchen.

Lloyd wanted to offer a menu catered to a college student’s budget. All of the items on the menu are less than $4.50. The menu includes made-to-order omelets and eggs, pancakes, waffles, french toast and various sides and beverages. Lloyd describes their menu as a standard farm breakfast.

She said college students who are looking for a place to eat during the early morning hours had to go across town to find an accommodating restaurant.

“We analyzed the thought of what would make it here,” Lloyd said, and breakfast seemed to be the answer.

The idea of Angie’s Kitchen was a result of a brainstorming session between Lloyd and her brother, Steven Champlin.

“It was because I love breakfast; my family loves breakfast,” Lloyd said.

There is also a bit of nostalgia and history that comes with the restaurant.

Lloyd’s grandparents, A. Louis and Angie Champlin, were longtime proprietors in the Campustown area. Mr. Champlin came to Ames in the early 1900s and began buying and developing property. After his death in the 1930s, Mrs. Champlin continued to manage the properties and, at age 95, passed on the managerial duties to Lloyd.

Today, the family owns all the properties on Lincoln Way from the Varsity Theater, 2412 Lincoln Way, to the building that will become Papa’s Corner (formerly People’s Bar and Grill), 2430 Lincoln Way. The family also owns the patio at 114 Welch Ave., which houses Lasting Impressions, Pita Pit, Cocost, The Doghouse and AutoVend.

For Lloyd, Angie’s Kitchen is a way to pay tribute to her grandmother and tell the story of her family’s legacy in Campustown.

“When I was a kid, there were always business people at her table having coffee,” Lloyd said.

She wanted to bring back a part of that legacy and the atmosphere of her grandmother’s kitchen. One of the waysshe did this was through the decor.

“All the decorations are basically antiques from the Champlin family,” Lloyd said. Angie’s Kitchen is decorated with family pictures and things Lloyd found on her family’s farm. This helped evoke the home-like atmosphere Lloyd was hoping to create.

To help launch Angie’s Kitchen, Lloyd brought Tim Gleason on board to manage the restaurant. Gleason worked for 17 years at Hickory Park and worked four years as an executive chef at the Iowa Machine Shed Restaurant in Des Moines. Lloyd said Gleason has been instrumental in the development of Angie’s Kitchen. Gleason and Lloyd both share the vision of restoring Campustown.

“That’s what we’re trying to do here – revitalize Campustown,” Gleason said. “If we take the first step, maybe others will follow.”

Hours of operation

On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, the restaurant will be open from 6 a.m. until noon. On Thursday, Friday and Saturdays, it will open at 11 p.m. and remain open until noon the next day.