OCHEYEDAN, Iowa — Travelers of Iowa 9 and U.S. 59 now have reason to make as short or long of a pit stop as they’d like to stretch their legs and grab a bite to eat.
Named after the intersection in which it sits, Jeanie Adams officially opened The Ol’ 9 & 59 three weeks ago, serving up whatever her imagination lends.
Adams describes the restaurant as a food truck experience, but the red barn-style structure directly one and a half miles north of Allendorf, Iowa is there to stay.
“It’s kind of like if you build it, they will come,” Adams said about her three-week business experience. “It’s cute out here. It’s got an old-time feeling.”
Picnic tables or picnic blankets allow visitors to enjoy their meals outdoors at the site of the former 9 and 59 Club. To-go options are also available.
Adams’ changing menu is created by a combination of fan favorites, available food she has to use and her creativity.
“I lay in bed at night and think of things to make,” she said, adding that trying new food options at the outset has helped her learn what people enjoy the most. It didn’t take her long to discover tacos are a hit, so she regularly browns ground hamburger and has taco meat ready to go. She also likes to have some kind of sandwich and salad on the daily menu.
While the restaurant doesn’t have posted hours, Adams said she strives to serve food from “sun up and sun down.” She opens a little later on Sundays, around 11 a.m.
Adams marks the location with attention-grabbing flags, which she used to create the motto: “If the flags are flying, our good food you can be buying. If the flags are down, you best be going into town.”
The seasonal food truck is open from May through Oct. 31.
While this is Adams’ first official food venture, hungry kiddos provided plenty of practice over two decades when she operated an in-home daycare in Sioux Falls, S.D.
“The difference is that I don’t have 12 screaming children,” she said with a laugh.
Adams describes her decision to open a restaurant as a light-bulb moment.
Having swapped her house for an RV, the corner lot of Iowa 9 and U.S. 59 owned by her fiance, Tom Binford, is where she planned to temporarily park the RV until moving on to her next unknown destination.
“After one day of being here, it was clear that if someone wasn’t doing something, they’re really missing an opportunity,” she said about the busy intersection.
She knew she’d found her food truck upon discovering it online. She bought it last summer from a man in Rock Rapids, Iowa, who she said used it occasionally for special celebrations.
Adams said business has picked up each week, and she's excited to build the business to a point where she needs to hire employees. That will also help her free up more time for her and Binford to take on gigs with their band, Fishin’ for Olives. The acoustic-duo plays a wide-variety of genres at locations across the area.