The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

February 17, 2013

Jo Ellis: Restaurant rumor confirmed off Carthage square

By Jo Ellis
Globe Columnist

CARTHAGE, Mo. — Rumor has it there is a new sit-down restaurant in town. The name of it is: Rumor Has It.

While fast food has its place, I much prefer eating where you can go in and sit down, and a friendly, smiling server comes to take your order.

That happens at Rumor Has It, which is located at 227 E. Third St., just a block off the Carthage square, a boon to business and professional people working downtown.

Lee and Lilly Carlson began the business about the first of November, offering strictly takeout and catering services. Health codes prevented them from bringing in tables and chairs until proper restrooms were available. That was accomplished toward the end of January, so now there is a seating capacity of about 60.

Nearly 30 years of experience in the hotel and restaurant field led Lee Carlson to opening his own restaurant. He worked with John Q. Hammons Holiday Inns in Fayetteville and Fort Smith, Ark., and in Springfield and Joplin. He was manager of Broadview Country Club in Carthage for seven years.

Like so many others in that field, Carlson wanted his own restaurant. “We just need to do it,” his wife said. The somewhat unusual name choice was decided during a family brainstorming session.

“We wanted a good catchy name,” Lee Carlson said. It works well in advertising promotions. “If someone says we have a certain dish, and we don’t happen to have it that day — well, we can tell them that was just a rumor.”

The menu consists of sandwiches, wraps, salads, soups, and homemade meals like chicken pot pie or penne chicken Alfredo. I can attest to the great taste of the turkey, bacon and cheddar club sandwich and the penne chicken, which my husband and I enjoyed last week. The Alfredo sauce, homemade from real butter, cream and Parmesan cheese, was excellent.

Prices run in the $6-$7 range. A different special is offered daily. Those with a sweet tooth may choose from several kinds of dessert. If you feel you just have to eat at your desk, you can phone in an order by 9:30 a.m. and it will be delivered between 10:30 and 11 a.m.

Nighttime pickup dinners also may be ordered no later than 9:30 a.m. on the day of pickup. Lee Carlson said that by the end of February, he plans to open the restaurant for dinner every Thursday and Friday night. The venue will be open for banquets and private parties on other nights.

A special evening event on Valentine’s Day may be an indication of how well the restaurant has been accepted. Lee Carlson said it was filled to capacity.


Sally Armstrong, director of artCentral, announced that its season opener on Friday will feature new works by 45 artists of the Joplin Regional Artists Coalition. The exhibit opens at 6 p.m. with a wine and hors d’ oeuvres reception at Hyde House, 1110 E. 13th St., Carthage.

Works in the “Curiously Inspired” exhibit will represent a wide selection of mediums by amateur and professional artists. The artists’ reception is open to the public. The show will hang through March 10 in the two galleries at Hyde House, which will be open on weekends. Admission is free.

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