The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

December 29, 2012

Wally Kennedy: South Main Street property will be home to new strip mall

JOPLIN, Mo. — As predicted, the landscape of South Main Street is about to change, and in a big way.

A strip mall is to be constructed on the east side of the 3000 block of South Main Street. All of the property east of the Pizza Inn, 3011 S. Main St., has been cleared for the development.

Old-timers will remember that the property was the home of Dawes Greenhouse. It later became Taylor Greenhouse. Though the businesses have been gone for years, one could still see some floral reminders each spring of what had been there.

What this means is that the Cuttaway Styling Salon at 3029 S. Main St. and a house north of it soon will be razed to make way for the project.

Sonja Harper, the owner of Cuttaway, is relocating her business to the northeast corner of 22nd and Main streets where Sleepygirls Furniture and Books used to be. Sleepygirls, which was blown away by the tornado, has relocated to a storefront at 516 N. Main St.

Years before that, the property was the home of Fred Reid Rambler. I know that because my dad bought a lot of Ramblers there. We had some Chevys and Fords, but one could almost always find an Ambassador parked in our driveway.

The tornado took a swipe at Cuttaway, too. The old wood-frame house lost some windows and part of its roof but managed to hang together while the newer Southtown Bait Shop across the street was blown apart.

Here’s a brain teaser for you. What business did the Cuttaway replace? The answer: Casablanca Video.

Harper is building a store that will be three times larger than the Cuttaway. It will have nine stations and a room for a message therapist. Construction is set to begin in the next week or two. The contractor is Trace Hawke, the builder of Cupcakes by Liz. The project will be completed by March or April. That’s when the Cuttaway will be coming down.

The new Cuttaway will be built on two lots. Two other lots next to it will be for sale. Jenny Hocker, with Keller Williams, handled the transaction.

But wait, there’s more. A strip mall is being constructed where Southtown Bait Shop used to be. It’s going up fast. No word yet on who the tenants might be.

But wait, there’s even more. A national chain pharmacy has expressed an interest in the post office property at the northeast corner of 32nd and Main streets. I have been told that $2.4 million has been offered for the property.

A local postal employee who is in the know told me this: “All I can tell you is that there has been discussion about that. I don’t know whether the purchase has been made, but it has been a topic of discussion. They want that site.’’

Only time will tell, so stay tuned.

More on Five Guys

Five Guys Hamburgers will build a stand-alone restaurant where the Sonic Drive-In once stood at 1801 S. Range Line Road. This is a departure for Five Guys. They normally find sites in strip malls.

Jeff Offutt, of Columbia, has the Five Guys franchise for Southwest Missouri. He got his start with Subway. He has 45 of those restaurants. He was looking for a new concept to promote and chose Five Guys, the fastest-growing restaurant chain in the United States.

He opened a Five Guys in Springfield’s Battlefield Mall three weeks ago.

“We opened at four times the national average weekly volume. It was insane,’’ he said. “We had 1,000 customers a day for the first four days we were open. That’s a lot of burgers.”

Offutt said plans for the new restaurant are nearing completion. Construction could begin at the end of February. He said he hopes for a midyear opening. But there could be a problem. Offutt is finding that a lot of local contractors are booked solid.

“This will be a different model for a Five Guys. It will be bigger than most Five Guys, and it will have a very nice curved patio,’’ he said. “We’re designing a sexy building for the No. 1-rated hamburger in the U.S.’’

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

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