The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

June 8, 2013

Wally Kennedy: A burger sometimes leads to news

JOPLIN, Mo. — It’s amazing how one thing can lead to another.

A friend invited me to have a hamburger with her at the Tropicana Bar and Grill, 3215 S. Main St. This establishment has a sign out front that says: “You have just passed the best burger in town.’’

I guess the sign wasn’t very convincing since I had never had a hamburger there before. I ordered a hamburger called The Snake. It had pepper jack cheese, jalapenos and bacon on it for something like $6.95. I figured they called it The Snake because the jalapenos would eventually come back to bite you.

I really didn’t need the bacon, but what the heck — it’s mowing season. In fact, I’ve been doing so much mowing of late I’ve shed some weight. I expect to break out the machete any day now to subdue the jungle that has become my yard. This is how I justified the bacon — guilt is a terrible thing to waste.

We had our food served on the outdoor patio. The burger was fantastic. The handmade patty had a dark grilled crust but the inside was moist. It was perfect. It was so large I could not eat it all. The sign was right. This burger is certainly a contender for best in town.

My favorable comments about its burgers led to the eventual discovery that the Tropicana will be moving to a new location in the tornado zone on South Main Street. The details have not been ironed out yet, but Adam Giebler, an owner, confirmed for me last week that a move is in the works.

That’s because something else is at play at 32nd and Main streets. The national pharmacy chain that has been looking for land at that intersection has apparently found it. The deal involves the Tropicana, the Cable One property east of it and the storefront that houses John Cotton Roofing. Other pieces of land might be involved. Details to come.


A former pawn shop and a used-car lot on the south side of the Gryphon Building, 1027 S. Main St., are in the process of being demolished to create more parking spaces for the Gryphon.

Michael Joseph, owner of the Gryphon, said about 52 spaces will be added along with additional landscaping.

This project will give motorists on Main Street a clearer view of the south side of the Gryphon, which has turned into a hub of activity in the midtown area. Table Mesa Bistro, the restaurant inside the Gryphon, is getting favorable reviews.

Joseph has expanded his presence downtown with the recent acquisition of the former Joplin Furniture Co. building at the southwest corner of Seventh and Main streets. The building currently houses the office of Tri-State Engineering and Fast Copy Printing.

Three upper floors of the structure have a combined 30,000 square feet of space. Joseph said he has not decided on whether to convert those floors into lofts or into office spaces. He said he intends to restore the building to original appearance. That conversion would be aided by historic tax credits. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places last year.

The structure, designed by famed Joplin architect August C. Michaelis, was completed in four phases over two decades, starting in 1899 and ending in 1923.

The lower floor was occupied by Anderson Drugs, Bormaster Shoes, J.C. Penney and Hornaday’s over the years. Joplin Furniture closed its doors in 1982.

There is a delicate side to this development. Joseph is seeking the Community Clinic of Joplin property, west of the building, for parking. The clinic, which does a fantastic job of serving the working poor and uninsured, would be relocated. It’s delicate because it’s going to take some real leadership and diplomacy to make that happen.


The Cuttaway Salon, 2129 S. Main St., will have its open house from 2 to 5 p.m. today. Chocolate-covered fruit from Carmen’s Apples, cupcakes from Cupcakes by Liz, and coffee from the Off The Tracks Coffee Co. will be served.

One thing you probably don’t know about the new Cuttaway is that it has a concrete storm shelter. That’s remarkable and smart.

By the way, Sonja Harper, the owner, is looking for a zebra-print rug for her shop. If you know where she can get one, let her know at the open house.

If you have news about something that’s happening on Range Line Road or Main Street, dial 623-3480, Ext. 7250; or send an e-mail to; or send a fax to Wally Kennedy at 623-8598.

Text Only
Local News
  • 0420earthday.jpg Prairie State Park kicks off Earth Day events

    Prairie State Park began celebrating Earth Day early with an event Saturday that provided a chance for people of all ages to learn more about how they can protect the environment.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Joplin Catholic schools to hold annual spring auction

    The Joplin Area Catholic Schools spring auction will be staged Saturday at the Jack Lawton Webb Convention Center, 5300 S. Range Line Road in Joplin.

    April 19, 2014

  • Wally Kennedy MUG72.jpg Wally Kennedy: Another pizza choice and ice cream on the way

    A new pizza restaurant is coming to the northwest corner of Stone’s Corner in the Village of Airport Drive. Piez is opening this week in a storefront that formerly housed Quincy Magoo’s, 6039 N. Main Street Road, which has been closed for more than two years.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • mike pound_cnhi .jpg Mike Pound: No more hiding Easter eggs or emotions

    Well, that’s a wrap on the Easter egg hunts. For about 15 years we have staged not one, but two Easter egg hunts for our now 16-year-old daughter, Emma.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041914 Wedding1_72.jpg VIDEO: Cancer patient walks down aisle in wedding thrown by friends

    A year ago, Schandera Jordan was diagnosed with a rare form cervical cancer. And months after a radical hysterectomy, doctors confirmed the worst: The cancer had spread to her lungs and pancreas.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • r041614giregabby.jpg SLIDE SHOW: Teen with cystic fibrosis finds widespread support

    When the Nevada Show Choir performs its spring show on stage, it’s impossible to pick out the student with cystic fibrosis because there are no outward clues.
    Gabby Gire, 18, is just another performer. She sings, she dances, she smiles for the audience.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • Enrollment open for Joplin summer school

    Enrollment is now open for the Joplin school district’s summer school session, which will run Wednesday, June 4, though Tuesday, July 1.

    April 19, 2014

  • r041814capbus4.jpg Funding shortfall could hinder public transportation in Southeast Kansas

    For the past two years, Pittsburg State University sophomore Travis Cook has been using public transportation to get to and from his classes. He began using the bus his freshman year, when he didn’t have a vehicle to drive even to the grocery store — which is said to be the case for many who use the service.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Bruner denied change of venue for murder trial

    Circuit Judge Gayle Crane has denied a change of venue for a defendant charged with fatally shooting an assistant football coach at Missouri Southern State University. The attorney for Jeffrey Bruner claimed pretrial publicity as the reason for seeking a change of venue in Jasper County Circuit Court.

    April 18, 2014

  • Russell family sues city, Joplin police

    Family members of a teenage girl whose suicide a year ago brought them into conflict with police officers and emergency medical technicians are suing the city and the Joplin Police Department. Kevin and Julissa Russell and their son, Brant Russell, are the plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed in Jasper County Circuit Court. The action filed on the Russells’ behalf by Kansas City attorney Andrew Protzman names the city, the Police Department and Officers Austin Wolf and Tyler Christensen as defendants.

    April 18, 2014

Must Read


Missouri Republicans are considering a new approach to prevent federal agents from enforcing laws the state considers to be infringements on gun rights: barring them from future careers in state law enforcement agencies. Do you think this proposal has merit?

     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter