By Wally Kennedy
JOPLIN, Mo. —
Some big changes are planned for the southwest corner of 20th and Main streets.
Adornable Inc., an alterations shop that was destroyed by the tornado, is coming back to South Main Street.
Directly west of the new home for Adornable, a major expansion project has been launched by Brothers, Bezold & Associates Optometry, 2013 S. Joplin Ave.
Adornable had operated for several years at 2036 S. Main St. When the tornado took out its building, the property was acquired and spruced up by Gaylen Plumbing, 2030 S. Main St. Adornable, owned by Liliya Moos, found a new home in a leased storefront at 509 S. Main St.
Business was good for Adornable at the downtown location but not as good as when it was on South Main Street.
Chris Moos, a spokesman for the business, said, “We get about three complaints a day about the parking. Downtown has been good to us, but we think the issue is parking. Our business is down solely due to parking.’’
Adornable has acquired a 50-foot lot and a 25-foot lot just north of Gaylen Plumbing to build a new storefront with Main Street access and parking spaces for nine or 10 vehicles. They plan to construct a 2,100-square-foot building and be open by the end of October.
The former home of Sherwood Cleaners, a 45-foot lot on the south side of the El Paisa grocery store, 2016 S. Main St., will remain open.
Adornable has a thriving bridal-alteration business and does a lot of custom sewing. When I need something fixed, I take it to them.
“We’re two doors from where we used to be,’’ said Moos. “I can’t tell you how happy we are to get back to South Main. We feel like we’re going home.’’
The home of Brothers, Bezold and Associates will be getting a lot bigger. Right now, the optometrists there share four exam rooms. The number of exam rooms will be increased to 10 so that each doctor has two.
An employee parking lot will be constructed on the south side of the new addition to the building. That will create more convenient patient parking on the north side of the original building, which will get a bit of a facelift. The last update to that building was in 1985.
When the tornado struck, a building owned by the optometrists on the north side of the property was destroyed. Instead of building a new structure, they decided to install a new electronic sign with a green space and colorful garden.
This is exactly what we need to see more of in Joplin.
POPEYES AT LAST
They say the third time’s a charm. That was the case on Friday when I finally got to place an order at the new Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen at the northwest corner of 22nd Street and Range Line Road after two previously unsuccessful attempts.
It is amazing that this place is still as busy as it is after being open for more than two weeks. This time, I found a spot on the parking lot, went inside, got in line and placed an order to go. I would have dined inside, but every seat in the house was full.
I ordered the Zatarain’s-flavored butterfly shrimp with Cajun-style fries, biscuit and drink for $5.99, plus tax. I got eight pieces of shrimp that were equal to or larger in size than those you would get at Red Lobster and a bunch of fries. The biscuit with some honey on top was almost a dessert in itself.
I ordered the shrimp because I’m a big fan of Zatarain’s seasoned cornmeal. For those who need to know, Zatarain’s was started in the New Orleans suburb of Gretna by Emile A. Zatarain Sr. He started out with root beer in 1889. He later moved into the spice business and became known for New Orleans and Cajun-style products. The company was acquired in 2003 by McCormick & Co., the world’s largest spice company.
Waiting in line at Popeyes provided a measure of entertainment. You could watch the people in the kitchen work like bees in a beehive. This is no place for slouches. Then from a door to the kitchen emerges this employee with her hands full of a to-go order. She navigates toward a line of waiting people who magically create a path for her to get through.
After I placed my order, I watched as a young gal attempted to call out the numbers of orders to be picked up from the counter. There was so much noise coming from the kitchen, the waiting area and the dining area that she could not be heard. This girl needed a megaphone.
I am sure the owners of our new Popeyes are glad to be in Joplin. But I bet they are asking: Did we build a big enough restaurant?
Range Line Road will be closed at Interstate 44 this coming weekend to convert that part of the road to a diverging diamond interchange.
The reconstruction project will start midmorning Saturday. The latest possible reopening could be at 6 a.m. Monday, according to the Missouri Department of Transportation.
The ramps connecting Range Line Road and Interstate 44 also will be closed at various times between 9 a.m. Thursday and some time Sunday. When Range Line Road is reopened to traffic, it will be in a diverging diamond configuration.