The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

August 17, 2013

Wally Kennedy: Parties looking at site of Range Line bowling alley

JOPLIN, Mo. — Carl Richard’s Bowl East, 3131 Ten Pin Lane, a longtime fixture on North Range Line Road, has closed. The equipment inside has been sold.

All of the leagues have been moved to Carl Richard’s Fourth Street Bowl, 1419 W. Fourth St., making it the only bowling alley in Joplin. At one time, there were three or four bowling alleys in Joplin.

Ron Richard told me that a couple of people are looking at the property, which sits on six acres. I asked him if the people who were interested in his property also might be interested in the 20 acres south of his property. He said he didn’t know for sure but didn’t think so.

The 20-acre parcel is owned by Joplin businessman David Humphreys. It has significant exposure on Range Line. There has been a persistent rumor that a grocery store has been eyeing this property. It’s right between Webb City and Joplin and would make a good site for a grocery store.

An interesting thing about the bowling alley property is that the front part is in Webb City and the back part — where the building sits — is in Joplin. That was done for a reason. It had something to do with the difference in the liquor rules of Joplin and Webb City at the time the building was constructed. Joplin was wet. Webb City was not.

Makes perfect sense to me.          

ON THE MARKET

The Great Wall Chinese Restaurant at 2705 S. Range Line Road shut down immediately after the tornado and did not reopen. It’s now on the market and is listed with Pro 100 Realtors.

The asking price is $1.1 million. The 9,076-square-foot restaurant has ample parking and sits on 1.76 acres. The price includes fixtures.

The restaurant — a former steakhouse that was built in 1976 — was a popular dining spot on the strip before the tornado.

Also on the market is the Blue Rose saloon at the southeast corner of 32nd Street and South Range Line Road. This is the former Paint Stallion/Crazytown Rock ’N Saloon.

The saloon, which opened in November of last year, had an interior makeover to make the place more inviting for couples and singles. The building also has a large dance floor.

I am not sure what the asking price for it is now, but in 2011 the property was placed on the market for $1.2 million.

The club started out as the Freeway Cafe in about 1948 or 1949, making it one of the oldest surviving structures on Range Line. The bar side was added in 1953 or 1954. It was once the Gold Dust Lounge, Dan’s Branding Iron, Wells Fargo and the Stampede.

The Bowman family took over in 1978.

One of my all-time favorite stories from Range Line was about the black-and-white stallion that graced the front of the saloon for nearly three decades. Stan Bowman told me: “It survived four tornadoes and a downburst. Why, I was standing at the front door and the wind was blowing so hard its ears were pinned back and its tail was straight back.’’

The horse was made of hard plastic. From then on, I knew to wear boots at that saloon. I will never tire of that story.

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