Properties with easy access and high visibility do not stay empty for long.

The Fancy Flamingo Flea Market, 5171 N. Main St. in the village of Airport Drive, closed in March. Many of the market’s 300 booths relocated to the Junkerville flea market at 1503 W. MacArthur Drive in Webb City. It was easy for the booth owners to relocate because the Fancy Flamingo was operated by the same person who operates Junkerville, which is located in a former Price Cutter grocery store.

A public hearing was held this week in the village to review a proposed change of use for the Fancy Flamingo property that will require the new owners to install a fire-suppression system in the building. Sue Hirshey, village clerk, said Smartlock, a company that offers climate-controlled storage units, has purchased the property.

Smartlock Self Storage operates fully automated storage units with 24-hour access, utilizing a “no key” entry system. You rent the unit online. You download an app that lets you log in and access your unit with your phone. The property is monitored by security cameras.

This property has a long history. It was the former Connie’s Antiques and Flea Market. Before that, it was Trade-X Sales.


Small Arrow Engineering, which was established in April 2010 in Joplin, has relocated from 216 S. Main St. to a storefront at 1302 S. Main St.

John Bolte, an owner, said the move was put into motion last year when his former office space in downtown Joplin was purchased for redevelopment by a local financial adviser.

“It’s the pinball effect,” he said. “We got bumped out and found a new home on Main Street with more room to spread out and easier parking. It’s perfect for us.”

The storefront at 1302 S. Main became available when Joplin ProPrint was purchased by All Seasons Signs of Joplin. SAE has occupied the south half of the property.

SAE delivers a full range of services in civil engineering, utility engineering and natural gas systems design. Bolte said 60% of the company’s business is in the natural gas and energy sector in Oklahoma and that 40% of its business is local. As an example of local business, the company provided civil engineering services in connection with the construction of the new field house at Missouri Southern State University.

Off the path

In case you missed it, Big R’s BBQ, 1220 E. 15th St., has reopened under new ownership. Darryl and Christy Cox have taken over operation of the barbecue side of the restaurant. Twyla Housh, who ran the restaurant for 22 years until its closure in July 2020, will continue to bake Big R’s famous pies.

Christy Cox said the Big R’s menu “has been condensed down to pulled pork, brisket and ribs, the customer favorites.” You still will be able to get a slice of pie with your meal.

I visited Big R’s a few weeks ago when they first reopened. The brisket sandwich I ordered was just like the brisket sandwiches I had ordered there before. Cox said she wasn’t prepared to advertise the reopening then until she felt sure her crew was ready to go.

ArtWalk ahead

The First Thursday ArtWalk will be held from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at several venues in downtown Joplin.

Due to local COVID-19 conditions and in response to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations, the use of masks will be required inside the venues.

Singer and guitarist Tough Luck Chuck will perform on stage at M&M Bistro. At Club 609, Amanda Wright will display her paintings. Beast & Barrel will feature the work of landscape photographer Koral Martin.

At the Urban Art Gallery, artist Liz Darling will display her show “Natural Inclinations.” Works by Linda Teeter, Helen Kunze, Kristin Girard, Merlen White and 11 other gallery artisans will be available.

Music will be by Vagabond Grove. Ron Erwin and Thao Nguyen Photography will show photographs from their world travels at 411 S. Main St.

At the Joplin Avenue Coffee Company, paintings by Josie Mai will be displayed. In the backroom, the works of Shawn Riley, Misty White and Brittany Spradling, and others will be shown. Music will be by the Ozark Bards.

Several artists will have their works displayed at Spiva Center for the Arts, including Connie Griffiths, Carolyn Cardenas, Bobby Ross and Melody Knowles.

Contact Wally Kennedy at

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