The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

February 15, 2014

Wally Kennedy: Joplin restaurant gets new owners

JOPLIN, Mo. — Caldone’s, 218 S. Main St., is under new ownership, and there’s a new executive chef in charge.

Dwight Loftus, who describes himself as a farm-to-table chef with 30 years of experience, is launching new lunch and dinner menus that reflect his specialties.

“We’re bringing in fresh seafood from the Gulf and coasts. That would include things like red snapper, swordfish and shrimp,” he said. “We’ll have some new appetizers like seasoned alligator.

“We’re going to have chef salads and all kinds of new Italian dishes on the menu. We’re also thinking about letting you build your own pasta with sauces,” he said.

The buffet is gone.

Word must be getting around that there’s a new chef in town.

The restaurant was fully booked for Valentine’s Day well in advance of that date. But Loftus, who is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America at Austin, Texas, is familiar with the area. He helped open the restaurants in Downstream Casino.

The new owners, Jeff and Gary Smith, took over on Jan. 1. Loftus said Caldone’s is a make-it-from-scratch kitchen that is still “very much a family operation.”

Bouncing back

The House of Bounce, 3684 N. Main Street Road, has bounced back. The business, which specializes in inflatable play areas for children, had its grand opening on Saturday.

The business was rebuilt after it was destroyed by fire last June. About 1,000 square feet has been added to the metal building’s footprint. The building is also taller than the previous one. That permits the use of a large inflatable slide on the inside.

In all, five new inflatables are available for children’s birthday parties. A new feature is a toddlers only area that uses foam building blocks.

Details: 417-625-1082.

Hotel for sale

Some big changes could be coming to Joplin’s hotel market. The Holiday Inn, 3615 S. Range Line Road, is for sale. It was placed on the market on Sept. 5.

A company by the name of WHI has been retained as the exclusive agent to advise in the sale of the 262-room hotel, which at one time was the largest in the Joplin market. That distinction is now held by Downstream Casino and Resort, which has 374 rooms.

An advertisement for the property says it “represents an excellent acquisition for a local, regional or national owner looking to acquire an asset with existing cash flow and excellent upside, well below replacement cost.”

The Holiday Inn, which was sold by John Q. Hammons in 2005, is a full-service hotel with an interior corridor and atrium design. It has a two-story tower and a five-story tower. The property was opened in 1979, and the two-story wing opened in 1981. Major renovations occurred in 2002, 2003, 2006 and 2008.

The convention center is not part of the deal. It is still owned by John Q. Hammons Properties and will become an independent operation available to local hoteliers. The hotel, I am told, might be purchased by another local hotel company. If that happens, expect a major upgrade and renaming of the property.

While that is going on, a separate effort is under way to assemble properties southeast of Interstate 44 and Range Line Road as the possible site for a hotel in anticipation of a major development project in Silver Creek Galleria, which is at the southwest corner of that interchange.

IF YOU HAVE NEWS about something that’s happening on Range Line Road or Main Street, call 417-623-3480, ext. 7250; or send an email to; or send a fax to Wally Kennedy at 417-623-8598.

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