Indianola gets a “Signature” style

by Mark Pleiss

On the first night of its existence, smoke could be seen bellowing from the kitchen of Signatures restaurant.

A stressed staff hesitantly turned away customers as the smoke gently sidled toward that dining area. An erupted ventilation system had been the cause of the mass inconvenience.

Ask any employee present that evening about it, and an assumed error will fill their gaze.

Two months later, Indianola’s reason for not having to travel to Des Moines for a fine dining experience is booming.

Echoes from Friday night karaoke can be heard across the town square, and cheers of joy and failure intertwine for Monday night’s Monday Night Football specials.

Signatures restaurant, located at 107 N. Buxton, mixes a diverse setting for all and a quality dining experience to match.

The inside is lined with cushioned black booths and delightful green ferns while outside is a dining deck and overhead street lamps. The tables bear checkers board-like designs of brown and black.

Most interesting is the art. The walls are lined with local college and high school pictures of sports teams and events. Customers are welcomed to take the pictures down and sign them.

But what would a restaurant be without its employees?

There are 11 students from Simpson working at Signatures.

“Working at Signatures is a good time,” Simpson student and Signatures employee Cary Claiborne said. “The tips are good and it doesn’t get too hectic.”

Teresa Gathers, owner of Signatures as well as Indianola’s Country Kitchen, likes how the students enjoy a good time working there and how friendly they are with the customers.

“I wanted to start a restaurant so people wouldn’t have to travel to Des Moines for a quality dinner and night out,” Gathers said. “I also wanted to make the place fun and have the entire community involved.”

Her goal has seemingly succeeded. According to J.D. Hews, assistant manager at Signatures and Simpson senior, the crowds they get there are rather diverse.

“All kinds of people from the community come to eat at Signatures,” Hews said. “Lots of college kids eat here, but many of the locals stop by as well. Signatures doesn’t really go after any particular group, so there are all kinds of customers here.”

The menu contains a variety of different foods. Pizza, sandwiches, appetizers and deserts are just a few of what Signatures has to offer.

But, according to Hews, the beef briscuit and Bronco burger surpass all other culinary offerings.

Hews also suggests preparing yourself for an appetizer and a meal, or a meal and dessert. Hews swears the portions are far too big for anyone to consume all three.

So next time, while venturing through Indianola’s town square, be sure to take a look at Signatures.