HuHot comes to Ames


Jonathan North/Iowa State Daily

A new strip mall, Southpoint Centre, is under construction on South Duff Avenue across from Walmart. 

Audra Kincart

The city of Ames can expect a new restaurant this fall.

HuHot Mongolian Grill will be located in the Southpoint Centre strip mall at 705 South Duff Ave. by the fall of 2015.

The strip mall, which is already leasing several other businesses, including Sprint Mobile, Firehouse Subs and a nail salon, is located across the street from Walmart. Two other leases for the strip mall are still being finalized.

“Its kind of where we wanted to be. Duff Avenue is sort of the heart of Ames,” said Luke Wilson, one of the owners of LLC, a company that owns and manages HuHot restaurants. “We’re really excited about HuHot being there.”

Huhot first came to Iowa in April 2003 in West Des Moines. However, the managers of the restaurant were ready to expand to a college market.

“We’ve been lucky enough, the people of Ames have been great customers of ours and we’re really happy to bring HuHot to their hometown,” Wilson said.

The target opening date is the end of August, Wilson said.

HuHot also finalized the decision to expand because “the place we wanted to be became available and so we took it,” Wilson said.

The strip mall has a Frank Lloyd Wright style that hopes to attract customers, said Dean Hunziker, broker and owner of Hunziker and Associates realty company.

“Part of the reason why we did that is because everything else you see up and down there [on Duff Avenue] is pretty generic in terms of style,” Hunziker said. “This is a good market, and they were looking for, when it comes to retail development as well as food and beverage, you have TVA — traffic, visibility and accessibility. You don’t have any heavier traffic street than South Duff in Ames. Duff Avenue takes care of the traffic requirement for TVA, however accessibility is an obstacle for this location.”

The location can expect a traffic light at the intersection of the strip mall sometime in the future, Hunziker said.

The visibility requirement is met with the Frank Lloyd Wright style design.

“Food and beverage is underserved in this market,” Hunziker said, and is looking forward to getting more restaurants in Ames.

“I think it’s a great addition to the Ames community, especially the restaurant business community,” said Tiffany Coleman, director of business development and marketing for the city of Ames. “We all want lots of choices when it comes to food and eating out, so it will definitely add to that diversity.”