The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

July 29, 2012

Wally Kennedy: Range Line busy with store openings

There was a time not long ago when openings in Joplin — either on Main Street or Range Line Road — were a rare thing. In fact, it was more about closings than openings.

Well, hold on to your hats, folks, because there are more openings in the works now than probably ever before.

First up is Andy’s Frozen Custard, 2934 S. Range Line. It opened this past week. If the line of vehicles going by the drive-through window is any indication, Andy’s is receiving a warm welcome from Joplin.

I dropped by on Friday and picked up a frozen custard bar that was dipped in milk chocolate. It was cheap — $2.90 with tax — and easy to eat while driving the strip. It was very tasty. Right before I arrived, I got to see a sign company put up a big frozen custard cone on top of the rotating sign out front. The design of this place is just crazy cool, but the big cone puts it over the top.

Carl Richard’s Bowl East on North Range Line Road at 3131 Ten Pin Alley will reopen on Friday after a summer hiatus.

The opening of the new IHOP is set for Aug. 7. The vehicles you see on the parking lot now are those of employees who are learning the ropes.

Opening in the middle of August will be the new Ross Dress for Less in the NorthPoint Shopping Center. This clothing store is occupying the former Hastings bookstore.

Of course, the most highly anticipated opening will be Jim Bob’s Steaks and Ribs in the former Cabo del Sol restaurant on the southeast corner of the Sam’s Club parking lot.

I dropped by on Friday to see whether Steve and Stacy Gamble will be able to make their Wednesday opening date. Work inside is progressing at an incredible pace, but it’s going to be close. Said Steve: “We’ll know on Aug. 2.’’

Longtime patrons will recognize that a lot of stuff inside of the old Jim Bob’s at 2040 S. Range Line was saved after the tornado. You remember all of those mounted animals, and deer and buffalo heads? They’re coming back. Some old wood and doors that were in the original restaurant were salvaged, too.

I had a chance to talk to Steve on Friday about what it has been like for his family after the storm and the challenges they faced coming back. The original plan was to rebuild on the old spot as quickly as possible. The engineering plans were drafted to do that. During this period, the Gambles were helped immensely by the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce. They also met Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, who took an immediate liking to them. The feeling was mutual. Don’t be surprised if you see the governor chowing down on some ribs there soon.

Shortly after that, Hy-Vee, the grocery store chain that is still looking for a site in Joplin, wanted to buy their property and others nearby. While the deal was being put together, the Gambles had second thoughts about whether they would come back. When the Hy-Vee deal fell through, they decided to press forward and eventually negotiated the purchase of Cabo del Sol from Gary Hall, a local businessman. Their old property on Range Line is now for sale.

Based on my conversation with Steve, I think it’s safe to say that the Gambles have a sincere appreciation for this town. We sometimes forget in the hoopla of a family-owned restaurant returning after the tornado that there is an emotional side to this that is deeply felt.

When the 40 or so former employees of this restaurant reunite in the days ahead, it will be like a family coming back together. I’m sure there will be plenty of hugs and some tears of joy, and I’m sure that for Joplin the feeling will be mutual.

If you have news about something happening on Range Line Road or Main Street, call 417-623-3480, ext. 7250; send an email to; or send a fax to Wally Kennedy at 417-623-8598.

Text Only
Local News
  • ArtFest.jpg Giant footballs arrive in Pittsburg; organizers seeking more underwriters, artists for event

    Twenty-four giant fiberglass footballs arrived in Pittsburg on Wednesday to officially kick off SEK Art Fest’s second annual public art event.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • City of Neosho reinstates school officer

    The city of Neosho has restored its contract with the Neosho School District to provide a police officer for security in schools.

    April 16, 2014

  • Mike Pound: Host families build relationships with Joplin Outlaws

    When Missy and Wade Short agreed to serve as a host family for a member of the Joplin Outlaws, they knew they were helping a college baseball player. But what they didn’t know is that they would also find another role model for their son.

    April 16, 2014

  • City of Miami to stage trash, cleanup events

    The city of Miami plans two trash and cleanup events over the next month in an effort to beautify the city and to assist residents with trash removal. This Saturday will see the return of the annual spring “Trash-Off the Streets of Miami.”

    April 16, 2014

  • Commission awards contract for bridge replacement project

    Construction will start in about a month on a new bridge on County Road 48 in the northeast part of Jasper County. The Jasper County Commission this week approved a contract for the project on Deer Creek, south of Baseline Road.

    April 16, 2014

  • More volunteers, donations sought for ‘Victory 4 Haiti’

    The second meals-for-Haiti project, scheduled for April 26, is in need of donations and volunteers, organizers say. “Victory 4 Haiti,” a food-packaging event that will provide meals to the Haitian Christian Mission in the village of Fond-Parisien and elsewhere in Haiti, needs $60,000 to pay for about 280,000 meals.

    April 16, 2014

  • TIF proposal filed for development of area at 44th Street and Range Line

    Joplin’s Tax Increment Financing Commission will hold an informational meeting today on a proposal to establish a TIF district to pay for a wetlands project on property in the area of 44th Street and Range Line, where a developer wants to build a retail, office and hospitality district.

    April 16, 2014

  • 041614 MDOT5_72.jpg JATSO recommends 15 road projects for planning

    The reconstruction of the Highway 171/Interstate 49 interchange at Carthage and the construction of a limited-access highway on the west side of Joplin and Carl Junction are among the top highway projects to be identified by the Joplin Area Transportation Study Organization.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Joplin city attorney takes job in Lee’s Summit

    City Attorney Brian Head will leave his Joplin post next month for a job in Lee’s Summit in suburban Kansas City. Head submitted a letter of resignation Wednesday morning to Mayor Mike Seibert and the City Council. The council is his employer.

    April 16, 2014

  • Neosho restores school resource officer to schools

    Neosho Police Chief David McCracken told the city council on Tuesday that he was restoring the city contract to provide a police officer in schools.

    April 16, 2014

Must Read


The Supreme Court may take up a challenge to an Ohio law that bars false statements about political candidates during a campaign. Do you think false accusations made in the heat of an election should be punished as a crime?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter