The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

July 25, 2013

Santino's announces plans to reopen in Frontenac, will keep Carl Junction location

FRONTENAC, Kan. — Santino’s Sports Bar and Eatery will return to Frontenac, the owner of the popular restaurant and nightspot said today.

Santino’s burned in an early-morning fire on Dec. 14, 2012, less than a year after it opened at 212 E. McKay, leaving 20 of its employees without work leading into the holidays.

They quickly regrouped and by February had opened in the former Cafe on the Green at Briarbrook Country Club in Carl Junction, Mo., where business has been brisk ever since, owner Michael Bicknell said.

They plan to keep that location open.

Bicknell said, “It has been an excellent opportunity for us. There are around 1,100 homes surrounding the golf course, and it has been a wonderful experience, a great customer base. We’re also getting a lot of people from Joplin, and a lot of Crawford County (Kan.) people who miss it drive over.”

The new Frontenac location will be on the north side of McKay across from Friskell Funeral Home, between Brunetti Law Office and a former longtime filling station, now no longer in use.

“We’re putting things in order now to begin construction,” Bicknell said. “We’re going to lay it out as efficient as we can, and might pursue a chain. If we go ahead and pursue it in other places, we could use this new building as a model.”

The new Santino’s will include a beer garden patio in front so customers can watch cars go by on McKay.

“There’s nothing equivalent to that around here; it’s like what you might find in Lawrence,” Bicknell said. “We also want to include more of a horseshoe bar and the back wall will have taps in it leading to the walk-in cooler, so we can offer a wider variety of beer.”

The restaurant developed full-scale catering in recent months, and Bicknell intends to build a bigger kitchen at the new location to support that. He also said he plans to hire about the same number of employees as were previously employed.

Bicknell said he hopes to have the new location open by December.


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