The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

November 11, 2012

Wally Kennedy: Galleria development bears watching

By Wally Kennedy
Globe Staff Writer

JOPLIN, Mo. — Over the years, Silver Creek Galleria at the southwest corner of Interstate 44 and Range Line Road has slowly developed. It is now home to a strip mall, a Social Security office, two hotels, a couple of restaurants, a furniture store and an AT&T call center.

The original tract was about 165 acres. Of that, only 30 acres or so have been developed over the past two decades. The rest is mostly undeveloped. This is prime real estate because of its visibility from I-44.

Back in pre-recession 2006, a developer from Little Rock, Ark., explored the possibility of acquiring 80 acres for a big-box retail center. Nothing happened.

Progress has been slow, but that could be changing soon. I have confirmed with a reliable source that local interests have acquired an option on all of the undeveloped land in Silver Creek Galleria.

It’s not likely someone would do that without first lining up some parties who have expressed an interest in expanding their presence in the Joplin market. This is a potentially big development that certainly bears watching.

TABLE MESA BISTRO

Trying new restaurants that open in Joplin is one of the perks that comes with this job. This past week, the perk was exceptionally tasty.

I think it’s safe to say Table Mesa Bistro will become a welcome addition to Joplin’s upscale lineup of restaurants. The bistro, which is on the main floor of the Gryphon Building, 1027 Main St., opened two weeks ago for dinner. It is now serving lunch.

Table Mesa’s menu might be best described as an eclectic mix of flavors. I took some time to read the menu but chose to play it safe and order an appetizer of fried calamari, shrimp and artichokes. It is served with a spicy dipping sauce. For the entree, I ordered two enchiladas. One was beef, the other was spinach and portobello mushrooms.

If my memory serves me correctly, I think I was given a choice of three sauces for the enchiladas. I chose a red sauce, and I’m glad I did. Sometimes, the sauce used on enchiladas can be bitter or taste more like chili than an actual sauce. This had a smoky, almost sweet flavor.

The appetizer and entree were served promptly. My waitress was on top of her game. The tab came to about $20, which is a bit pricey for me, but you know what they say: “Quality costs.’’

What was most striking about Table Mesa was the surprising level of activity for a Thursday night. The bar was busy. Someone was having a birthday party in a private room. As openings go, things look very promising for Table Mesa.

PAJAMA DRIVE

Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt, 2330 S. Range Line Road, is having a pajama drive to benefit Lafayette House.

Anyone who donates new pajamas for women or children will get a free 3-ounce serving of frozen yogurt.

Donations will be accepted through Dec. 16. The store is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

OPENING

U.S. Cellular is back in business in a new building at its former site at 1630 S. Range Line Road.

The storefront, which opened last week, is one of the company’s prototype stores. It’s the first store of its kind in Missouri and only the fourth prototype store the Chicago-based wireless company has opened across the country.

Tommy Arens, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in Joplin, said, “We’re thrilled to bring this high-concept store to Joplin, built on the same site as our previous store, which was destroyed in the 2011 tornado.’’

The store has a 2,200-square-foot showroom and features interactive technology so customers can easily compare phones, features and plans. It also has a lounge area for a more comfortable shopping experience.

The store employs 16 people. It is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. The store’s phone number is 417-439-7600.

U.S. Cellular had previously opened a temporary store location on East Seventh Street, which has been replaced by the new store.

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