If you observed more vehicles than usual parked near 22nd and Main streets on Saturday, it was because Holly Hartman was experimenting with an idea — a seasonal brunch.

The summer brunch at The Pie Safe, 2129 S. Main St., took place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Extra tables were set up inside to handle the expected turnout. Orders would be taken at the tables instead of at the counter.

So what was on the menu? These were pies that are reflective of summer — pineapple with rum, a strawberry hibiscus curd tart and a pistachio rose tart. There also was a Southern favorite called savory tomato pie.

"That one tastes just like pizza,'' said Hartman, showing me pictures of the pies she would bake for the brunch. The pies looked like little swirling works of art.

"We are only going to do this seasonally,'' she said. "The next event we host will be at Thanksgiving. We will have a full pie feast.''

My last visit to The Pie Safe was a while back. At that time, Hartman had perfected the 4-inch mini pie and her version of chicken pot pie. She was investigating the possibility of offering quiche. The Pie Safe now has a broader menu that includes a bacon, artichoke, spinach and cheddar quiche. There's also a zesty chicken salad over Romaine lettuce. The sides are a broccoli salad and a fruit salad.

For lunch, I ordered the special — quiche, broccoli salad and tea — for $8.64, tax included. The quiche and salad went well together. The tea, frosted orange roll, was the real surprise. It was a nice touch. The Pie Safe is becoming one of those places where you meet someone special for lunch.

Hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday.

New mercantile

April Landrith-Nyarango enjoys stepping back in time just like her great-great-grandfather did in Joplin decades ago. She has opened Blythe Mercantile, 107 W. Second St., a gift shop with vintage and antique items, coffee, teas and cream sodas.

"I still have his business cards from when he operated J.L. Reed's Cabinet and Antique Shop at 2112 S. Main St.,'' she said. "A lot of this has been collected over many years.''

Some items, particularly those pertaining to early Joplin, are not for sale. They are on display for people to view and reminisce. Make sure you check out the red room. It's a place where you can relax with a soda or a coffee. Tea is $4. Coffee starts at $2. She offers a selection of historical teas, including the tea that was dumped in Boston Harbor. Although I have been in a revolutionary mood of late, I chose a root beer cream soda for $3. I predict that these will become a big hit during Third Thursday this summer.

Last week

This will be the last week for the inventory closeout at Payless Shoe Source at the southwest corner of 15th Street and Range Line Road. The closeout includes the fixtures and discounts of up to 90 percent, according to the company's website.

The store at Northpark Mall has already closed.

Payless was founded in 1956 at Topeka, Kansas. In February, the company decided to shut down 2,100 of its stores and its e-commerce operations in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico as a result of a challenging retail climate.

Although this marks a turning point for its business in North America, the Payless brand continues in more than 35 countries across the globe.

The buffet is back

The buffet is back at the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant at 1731 S. Madison St. in Webb City. It is the only KFC in the immediate area that is serving a buffet.

You might ask, "Is the return of the buffet at KFC worthy of comment?'' Yeah, it is. The place was packed with people when I visited the restaurant last Wednesday. A manager told me business has been brisk.

With the buffet, you get your choice of vegetables, a couple of dessert options and at least three types of chicken for $8.63, including tax. It's an outstanding value. The coleslaw made by KFC is one my favorites, and I really like a jalapeno with the original recipe chicken. There's a reason KFC has been around since 1940.

Almost forgot to note that this restaurant has been completely remodeled.

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

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

Recommended for you