Noah’s Ark Italian restaurant in Des Moines faces legal dispute

For 75 years, Iowans have flocked to Noah’s Ark restaurant for old school pastas and pizzas, but its future is uncertain due to a family dispute in which one side operates the restaurant and the other owns the real estate.

On May 6, the two sides met in front of Polk County Judge David Nelmark for a three-hour hearing to determine the next steps. At issue: whether an emergency temporary injunction would be put in place to prevent Anntoinette Erickson, representing the Noah L. and Sara Ann Lacona Revocable Trust, from terminating the lease between the trust and Noah’s Management LLC, which operates the business. According to Friday’s testimony, the trustees intend to terminate the lease due to insufficient rent payments.

For now, Noah’s Ark will continue to operate as usual, but the dispute, dating back to 2020, is unsettled. Noah’s Management LLC has been ordered to submit a preliminary cash bond of $117,652.11 to the clerk of court by May 9. The amount will be held prior to a future bond hearing, where the family may continue to hash out details of the dispute; However, Nelmark urged the attorneys to consider having settlement discussions outside of the court.

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