I’m always encouraged when I see a family put down roots in downtown Joplin. There are lots of open storefronts and places to do business in Joplin, but it takes a certain breed of entrepreneur to make a go of it in a downtown location.

Luke and Kristen Sheafer, owners of the Frosted Cakerie, 124 S. Main St., have already proven they can operate a business in the downtown district. After 21/2 years preparing custom cakes and cookies, they have decided to take the plunge and buy the former Caldone’s property at 218 S. Main St. The deal was handled by Marge Lagow with Pro 100. It’s just a block south of their current location. Caldone’s was a successful Italian restaurant from about 2009 to 2016.

Luke Sheafer said, “We’re shooting for the first of the month to open. The building is in great shape overall. We just needed to do some work on the aesthetics. We love being downtown and we believe good things are ahead for the downtown.’’

A graduate of Missouri Southern State University, Sheafer said their decision to purchase the property is connected to the future redevelopment of the former Joplin Public Library, Fourth and Main streets, into a downtown campus of the university. A sign announcing the creation of the campus was recently placed near the Main Street entrance to the library building.

Sheafer said, “The creation of a downtown campus will bring more people downtown, and that will be good for everybody.’’

The 5,000-square-foot property has two floors. The second floor could become future office space.

Under contract

King Palace, a longtime Asian buffet at 1401 S. Range Line Road, closed earlier this year. The property is now under contract with a buyer from Dallas who plans to open a fast-casual restaurant there with a drive-thru window, according to Buttrum Commercial Real Estate. The closing is set for Jan. 11. Expect more details then.

The new owner reportedly is a large national chain that operates 40 to 50 other sites.

It is not clear yet whether the existing property will be remodeled.

Ruby Tuesday

The ghostly outline of the letters for Ruby Tuesday, which closed in February, is about all that remains to denote the existence of the former restaurant at 3231 S. Range Line Road. Expect those letters to disappear pretty quick as the remodeling of the building concludes. Then we really can say: “Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday.’’

Readers of this column have inquired about the new tenant. The restaurant is being transformed into a First Watch Daytime Cafe.

There are several of these cafes in Springfield and larger cities in the region. They have received favorable reviews, especially for breakfast. Expect an opening soon.

McDonald’s remodel

Things are getting rather spiffy along South Madison Street in Webb City. Range Line Road becomes Madison in Webb City.

The first to get a major makeover was the Braum’s at 3501 N. Range Line Road. Next up was the Wendy’s at 1229 S. Madison St., which has received an eye-popping update. The Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant at 1731 S. Madison St. is the most recent eatery to get a makeover. Now, the McDonald’s restaurant at 410 S. Madison St. is getting gussied up — at least on the inside.

The store manager told me the restaurant’s lobby will be closed for the next four weeks or so while workers remodel the interior. The drive-thru window will remain open, but be watchful for workers around the demolition dumpsters.

Wally Kennedy is a reporter and columnist for The Joplin Globe.