A new restaurant, Fortune Korean and Thai Cuisine, has opened in Webb City’s Oak Ridge Center, 1500 S. Madison St. It is in the storefront where Hershey’s Ice Cream had started and then relocated to the Madison Square shopping center at 17th and Madison streets.

This venture is being guided by longtime friends Lailanie Frossard and Luvinia Viray, of Joplin. They met as teenagers in high school in the Philippines and have been friends for 30 years. Viray has experience managing a Korean and Thai restaurant in Kodiak, Alaska. Their cook is from Thailand.

I visited with them on Wednesday, the day before their opening. I did not have an opportunity to try something from the menu, but I plan to do that soon. I was immediately interested when they said they have a version of kimchi soup. If you are feeling a little congested, this spicy dish made of fermented napa cabbage can do wonders.

The restaurant will feature a broad selection of curry dishes, including fried rice and spicy noodles and, of course, pad thai. There’s a children’s menu. A lunch combo is offered for $8.95 from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

On the move

MacCheesy, the gourmet mac and cheese restaurant that opened in October 2017, is on the move. It is relocating from the Bayberry Square Shopping Center, directly west of Northpark Mall, to a vacant storefront next to the new Smoothie King at the southwest corner of 22nd Street and Range Line Road. This building was a former convenience store that has been transformed into two storefronts with plenty of parking.

Sherif Magd, the creator of MacCheesy, said he is ready to take it to the next level with a location that has easier access and higher visibility. The move will permit Magd to upgrade the MacCheesy look with a more modern decor.

The menu at MacCheesy features lobster mac, taco mac, cheeseburger mac, and chicken, bacon and ranch mac. The cast-iron skillets keep the mac and cheese steaming hot for a long time.

Magd said he is continuing to experiment with new dishes in his kitchen. The latest is a dessert that is a cast-iron skillet version of s’mores. He’s also experimenting with milkshakes that will defy what a milkshake is supposed to look like.

The move should be complete by June.

New life for old storefronts

There’s a reason why three old storefronts in the 900 block of South Main Street have been occupied for the first time in a long time. First, the three storefronts in the Eisen Building, built in 1921, had to be renovated. Second, someone was needed who could see the property’s potential and the possibility that someday it might be part of something much larger.

Kimberly Favazzo Patrum, owner of Promotional Products, 512 S. Joplin Ave., said she purchased the Eisen Building at 909 S. Main St. in October because “I love the area and I believe it’s going to be developed.”

Two of the storefronts in the building were ready for occupants. The third had to be completed before she could move forward. Patrum has experience with renovation. It took her 11/2 years to renovate 512 S. Joplin Ave.

“Our roof leaked every time it rained. You have got to stay on top of these old buildings,” she said. “You can’t let them go.”

Patrum said she uses one of the storefronts as a window display for the full line of promotional products she offers.

“We are a full-service marketing agency. Our client base is automotive and banking. We also build websites and do digital advertising,” she said. “When it comes to marketing, we can do it.”

The other storefronts are occupied by Tech Hound, a computer repair service, and Freebird Boutique, a women’s clothing and home decor store.

Third Thursday on tap

Third Thursday, downtown Joplin’s street fair, will feature performances by Ovation Studios and the Joplin High School theater department. JHS will be showcasing scenes from the Broadway musical “Hello, Dolly!”

Live music will be performed by local musician Ronnie Powell and local band Dr. G and the Tall Man. They will perform from 5:30 to 7:15 p.m. at Third and Main streets.

If you have news about something that’s happening on Range Line Road or Main Street, dial 417-623-3480, ext. 7250; or send an email to 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.

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