Meyer celebrates 60 years in real estate

Monday, March 20, 2006

Shortly after Thomas L. Meyer returned to Cape Girardeau from his Air Force service in 1946, a friend posed a question: What did he think about going into real estate?

His response: "What the hell, let's find out."

Sixty years later, Meyer is still in real estate at the age of 87, working deals over the years that he estimates resulted in 3,000 jobs. In 1968, he put the land deal together for a new company here called Procter & Gamble. He's also been involved in a number of deals along Nash Road.

"I fell in love with this job," Meyer said.

He's loved the job all these years, he said, because of the people.

"If you love people and you love hard work, this is the life for you," he said. "If you don't, you shouldn't even get into it."

Last Wednesday night, the Thomas L. Meyer Real Estate Co. held a celebration at Gatherings at the Marquette, honoring Meyer's 60 years in real estate. Proclamations were read from state Sen. Jason Crowell, Mayor Jay Knudtson and Rep. Fred Kratky of St. Louis, who is also a real-estate agent.

Meyer's son, Thomas M. Meyer, has worked with his dad at the company since 1970.

"He's certainly an example that I've always looked at," Thomas M. Meyer said. "I ask myself if I'm doing the right thing or taking the proper direction that he would."

Growing up in the business, young(er) Meyer said his dad was always a positive role model.

But will Thomas M. stay in the business as long as dad?

"If I'm that sharp and capable, I don't see why not," he said.

Congratulations to everyone at the firm, especially Mr. Meyer. Um, Mr. Thomas L. Meyer. (That must get confusing.)

* Irish pub, restaurant to open: Next St. Patrick's Day, I bet Katy O'Ferrells will be the place to be.

It was first reported in my column as a rumor last year. But it turns out, surprising even to me, that it was true. That so rarely happens.

Anyhoo ... Paul Dirnberger, who is co-owner of Bella Italia and Rhodes 101 Stops, confirmed for me that he's developing a new Irish pub and restaurant for the old Cast-A-Ways building, which was a Cape Girardeau consignment shop until Ella Dowd closed it in 2002.

Then Tony Suggs attempted to convert the building into a blues nightclub, but that never fully materialized.

But Dirnberger -- who obviously knows how to run a successful business -- will no doubt make a go of it, and it sounds like he's off to a good start. He's waiting for the building to be put on the National Register of Historic Places, which will entitle him to some tax credits to remodel the 18,000-square-foot building at 502 Broadway.

He's going to remodel the upstairs into loft apartments. The downstairs will be a pub and restaurant. There will be Irish fare -- corned beef and cabbage, ruebens and green beer. There will also be more traditional food: steaks, soups, salads, burgers, etc.

The pub will be called Katy O'Ferrells, named for Dirnberger's grandmother, and he hopes it will be open by the fall. The establishment will also feature live Irish music.

* Motor Sports Unlimited in new location: Randy and Angela Whitticre bought Motor Sports Unlimited in January and moved it to 1249 S. Kingshighway in February. They bought the store, which deals in consignment motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, tires and parts and accessories, from Al Bisher and Brian Hahs.

Randy got interested in buying the business because he has a sport bike, a race bike and a street bike. He heard about the business from one of his friends and inquired about buying it.

* Radio station announces new format: Mississippi River Radio is announcing "92.9, The River" to the Cape Girardeau and Sikeston area. The new format joins seven sister stations in the Broadway facility.

The River's format is described as "the '70s, '80s and whatever." The majority of the music will feature hits from the 1970s and '80s and the "whatever" includes music from the 1960s and "whatever" else they want to play.

Artists that will be heard on the River include the Eagles, Beatles, Rolling Stones, Elton John, Temptation, Jimmy Buffet, Aretha Franklin and more.

Mississippi River Radio stations include 92.9 The River, K103, 93.9 KISS FM, 960 KZIM, Real Rock 99.3, ESPN 1220 KGIR, KSIM and KMAL.

* New office, warehouse near Humane Society: Home-builder Brandon O. Williams is erecting two large wood-frame buildings near the Humane Society that will serve as new office and warehouse space for his construction and development company as well as the new home of another company.

Williams told me that the 5,000-square-foot building on the west side closest to Route W will be used for his company's offices and warehousing for equipment and materials.

"We've been in business five years but never had an office," he said.

The other building will be the home of Bruce Baker's Elite Development, an excavation business. The buildings are expected to be finished within the next 60 days.

Williams builds homes and subdivisions in the Cape Girardeau and Jackson area.

* Hinkebeins buy Oak Ridge Market: Marsha and Vaughn Hinkebein have bought Oak Ridge Market, a grocery store and deli that also is going to start serving barbecue and already has Pizza Pro pizza. On March 6, they took it over from Arlene and Gail Curry, who had it 16 years. The store is at the corner of routes D and E in Oak Ridge.

* Jackson Glass in new location: Jackson Glass is at its new building, about 2 miles from Jackson's main intersection near Country Mart, according to Kaye Brands, who owns the business with her husband, Stephen. The new location is bigger and has a new showroom and features full-service glass for residential, commercial and automobile uses.

Scott Moyers is the business editor of the Southeast Missourian. Send your comments, business news, information or questions to "Biz Buzz," 301 Broadway, Cape Girardeau, Mo., 63702-0699, or e-mail them to or call (573) 335-6611, extension 137.

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