The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

March 24, 2013

Jo Ellis: Construction, expansion and a new coffee shop unfold in Carthage

By Jo Ellis
Globe Columnist

CARTHAGE, Mo. — Watching the rapid progress of construction on the new McDonald’s restaurant at 1111 W. Central Ave. is almost like watching it being built in time-lapse photography.

Within the past week, the building was demolished, the debris removed, the foundation and flooring poured, and the walls framed up. I didn’t check in the past couple of days, but if construction continued over the weekend, the roof could be on by now.

Kemp Construction, of Derby, Kan., is doing the building at a cost of $500,000, plus a $7,700 installation of a new sign. It is good to know that Joe and Patty Coss, the franchise owners, have enough faith in Carthage to not just remodel, but to build a completely new and modern restaurant.

They also hold the franchise for the other McDonald’s restaurant in south Carthage at 2812 Hazel St. The new restaurant should be reopened in about 90 days.

A couple of other new construction jobs are under way in the city’s manufacturing industry.

Flex-O-Lators, a division of Leggett & Platt Inc., is adding a 28,900-square-foot addition for warehousing at its plant at 1460 Jackson Ave., north of the city. The estimated cost is $1.1 million. The work is being done by Crossland Construction, of Columbus, Kan.

Justin Boot Co. has undertaken a 10,000-square-foot expansion of its production site at 2236 Missouri Ave. at a cost of $303,000. Tom Garrison Construction, of Carthage, is handling the construction.

Meanwhile, work is progressing at 320 N. Main St. on the west side of the Carthage square, where a portion of the old Murray-Duncan drugstore is being remodeled by Ed Hardesty. He plans to open The Mother Road, a coffee shop focused on serving premium smooth blend coffees and a light food service.

“We will have rolls or brownies, things you would normally have with coffee,” Hardesty said. “We may have a soup, and even oatmeal on a cold morning.” He said the name of the coffee shop is a reference to it being on Route 66. His coffee roasters are also located on Route 66 in St. Louis.

An unusual feature of the shop will be the blue and white mosaic tile flooring that Hardesty has uncovered. With soft seating and a small fireplace, the coffee shop should offer the ambience of an old home. A 12- by 8-foot conference room will be available for group meetings, Hardesty said. He hopes to have the Mother Road open by April 26.

With my mind on food, and with Easter almost here, I can’t forget to mention the homemade chocolate Easter eggs being sold by Kate Gilpin. She’s making them in 10 flavors: maple, coconut, strawberry, lemon, peanut butter, raspberry, black walnut, butter pecan, cherry and almond. They sell for $1 apiece and are so rich and creamy you have to share, or at least save half for later. Details: 417-385-1650.

Address correspondence to Jo Ellis, c/o The Joplin Globe, Box 7, Joplin, MO 64802 or email