Johnny’s Story

From its humble beginnings in Iowa, Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse has grown to be an aspirational brand that celebrates both its Midwestern heritage and its contemporary edge.

Building on the success of other restaurant concepts in the Heart of America Group family, the first Johnny’s was opened in Des Moines in 2002. The core idea was to create an upscale yet affordable dining experience reminiscent of the classic 1940s and 1950s supper clubs, with a menu featuring delicious steaks, seafood and Italian cuisine. Staying true to its roots, Johnny’s would also offer the classic Steak DeBurgo, a quintessentially Iowan dish consisting of succulent beef tenderloin medallions lathered in basil, garlic and butter.

The launch of the first Johnny’s was immediately embraced by the community with a surge of rave reviews and loyal patrons who continue to return to this day. Presently, many other communities have come to enjoy this same positive experience following the openings of their own Johnny’s locations.

The original restaurant in Des Moines has since gone through several renovations as the concept has been refined based upon the feedback from enthusiastic customers. It is this intimate relationship with consumers that has guided the brand’s expansion into new territories where it has also been embraced as a beloved restaurant destination.


Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse is the proud recipient of several awards for exceptional performance. These awards include the Beef Backer, and local Readers’ Choice Awards for the best atmosphere, best steak, best chef, and the list continues to grow. Our chefs are involved in community events to raise awareness and support the local community, as well as conducting cooking classes and TV appearances.