The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Joplin Metro

October 18, 2011

Wally Kennedy: Eagle Drive-In enters rarified aerie

JOPLIN, Mo. — There's probably no other place in Joplin that reinvents itself like the Eagle Drive-In at 4224 Hearnes Blvd. This time, it's over the top.

Jason and Susie Miller, who brought you the successful Instant Karma Gourmet Hot Dogs at 527 S. Main St., have reopened The Eagle and given it a whole new look inside. It's still casual dining, but clearly more contemporary.

The menu is burger driven. There's the beef burger, the falafel burger, the bison burger, the lamb burger, the black bean burger, and the bleu cheese and bacon burger. These one-third-pound burgers range in price from $8.95 to $12.95, including one side.

It's not all burgers. You also can get a "jo-mo po-bo,'' which features fried oysters with mixed greens and a sauce on a bun. There's a tuna steak and a flat-iron steak, and some salads from which to choose.

It also has "the old-fashioned burger.'' It's exactly what you think. These are mini beef burgers with one, two or three patties, American cheese and mustard. It's the basic burger, the kind I like.

Thinking they were small, I ordered one with two patties for $3 and a side salad for $2.95. It was more than enough. The salad featured something called "Eagle sauce.Ó It's something they whip up in the kitchen. It has a little kick to it. I liked it.

Can't wait to try the pan-seared ahi tuna salad with wasabi mayo and Eagle sauce.

It's good to see the Eagle soar again Ñ from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Wine time

The speed with which some businesses are coming back from the tornado is amazing. An example of that is Macadoodle's, 3105 E. 17th St. After the tornado, only one wall was left standing. If all goes as planned over the next few days, it will reopen on Friday, Oct. 28.

Larry Williams, the owner, gave me a tour of the new building last week. The store will have the same footprint, but everything else is changing. The main retail area for beer and spirits will see only a few changes. The wine area is getting a complete makeover. It will be on the main floor. The wine-tasting area will take center stage under something that Williams refers to as "the rotunda.'' You'll have to see it to appreciate it.

The retail outlet in the south end of the building never caught on. It will become a new bar and grill with room for special events, such as birthday parties.

It's not clear what's going to happen to the old wine cellar. It will be connected via stairs to the bar and grill. Williams does not want to get rid of it "because it saved the lives of 12 people.'' It could always double as a storm shelter, but let's hope it's never needed for that purpose again.

Looking ahead

Aldi's Food Store will reopen Saturday. Slumberland will reopen Nov. 1. The Wal-Mart at 1501 S. Range Line Rd. will reopen Nov. 9. Home Depot is looking to reopen in mid-January.

Oktoberfest Joplin

A celebration of Joplin's rich German heritage will kick off Thursday as part of the "Discover Downtown'' Third Thursday events. Activities will include historical ghost tours, arts and crafts, and German cuisine.

The event will continue Saturday morning with a Kids Fall Fest in front of Spiva Park. The 300 block of Main Street will feature a scavenger hunt, a pet-costume contest, bounce houses and street vendors.

The celebration continues with the opening of the biergarden at 3 p.m. in the 100 block. Polka music is on tap along with several varieties of beer. Local wineries also will be represented. This is the inaugural event.

More on lights

The return of streetlights to South Main Street is a welcome sight, but that prompted a business owner on Range Line Road to ask about the return of streetlights to the strip.

A spokeswoman for Empire District Electric Co. said preliminary work is under way for streetlights on Range Line. But in this instance, Empire will be working with the Missouri Department of Transportation since Range Line is a state highway.

Translation: It's going to be a while.

If you have news about something happening on Range Line Road or Main Street, dial 417-623-3480, ext. 7250; send an email to wkennedy@joplinglobe.com; or send a fax to Wally Kennedy at 417-623-8598.

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