Scott City getting needed new restaurant

Monday, July 28, 2003

Getting fired was the best thing that ever happened to Shauna Watson.

Not that the longtime Scott City waitress was fired for not filling up a coffee cup enough times or for being rude to customers -- far from it. She was fired, she says, because new management came in and made sweeping changes to the restaurant staff.

They may live to regret it. What they've accomplished is motivating her to start her own restaurant.

The restaurant, Drue's Place -- Drue is Shauna's middle name -- is set to open soon in Scott City at 601 Second St. East, which is next to the post office in Old Illmo. (That really means something to Scott City folks.)

"It's going to be a family-style restaurant with fine-dining atmosphere," said Watson.

She already sounds like a restaurant owner, doesn't she?

She's proud of the 98-year-old building, which she hopes will become a historical landmark.

"I want to keep it old-fashioned," she said.

The building is familiar to Scott City residents. It was Avery's Tavern. It's been a drugstore, a pharmacy, a cafe, lots of different things.

"We're going to have all homemade food," she said. "A breakfast, plate lunch, an evening dinner special. We're also going to offer a delivery service."

She points out that, when it comes to choice, Scott City leaves a lot to be desired.

"There's nowhere for us to eat here," she said. "Except a few fast-food places. We're going to be big on customer service. I've been a waitress for 25 years and I've got my degree in food service management at Cape Votech."

Shauna sounds like she's going to come roaring out of the gate and be a restaurant force to be reckoned with in Scott City.

She even plans to open the restaurant on Aug. 7. Why not? It's her birthday.

By the way, there's no hard feelings between her and the place that fired her.

"It didn't faze me, I just thought, 'That's their loss,'" she said with a sly smile. "Besides, there's nothing wrong with a little friendly competition."

If I were them, I'd watch out.

Branding Iron

A new barbecue restaurant is going up in Jackson.

Developer Jim Maevers tells me that a barbecue restaurant called the Branding Iron is being built in the same shopping area as Fred's and Save-A-Lot. The 4,800-square-foot building will be just to the east of Jackson Tire, Maevers said.

Starting today, he said, the footings and foundation work will begin, weather permitting. He hopes the restaurant will be open by Oct. 1, a date he admits is optimistic.

"We know that's a fast schedule, but if weather permits, we think we can do it in 70-90 days," he said. "It's look is going to be a cross between a Cracker Barrel and a Bob Evans."

He said that outdoor dining will be available. The restaurant will be owned by Jim McLeod and Dale Wright, Maevers said. The restaurant will also have a place for private parties in the back for as many as 90 people.

"We did that because, right now, people don't have a place to go," he said. "We're real excited about it, and we think it's going to have a unique look. People are going to like it."

Maevers has some other big announcements coming soon. Watch this space for details.

Diamond Wireless

Diamond Wireless has opened at Westfield Shoppingtown West Park, according to vice president and part owner Sean Simon. They also will operate a free-standing store in the Town Plaza in the space next to Hastings, Simon said.

Simon said their T-Mobile phones use technology that makes the phones usable in 90 different countries. They also have plans for stores in Carbondale, Marion, Perryville and Sikeston -- all within the next six months.

David Creech, who owns Diamond Sounds, a mobile DJ service, is also an owner in the new venture.

Kerasotes name game

I actually talked to Kerasotes CEO Tony Kerasotes. I called the company last week when I learned our local Kerasotes theater was changing its name to Kerasotes Showplace Theaters. It turns out all of the Kerasotes theaters are changing names because of a new investor who sank money into the theater chain.

Kerasotes told me they plan to use some of new capital to build new theaters and upgrade some existing ones. The one here is "under consideration," he said, for an upgrade.

Briefly

  • Arby's Restaurant is considering buying a piece of the Albertsons lot, according to the company that owns it. The way it would work is they would buy the spot where the gas station sits, tear it down and build their restaurant on that lot. I'm not even going to make promises about when some REAL news will come.

    Scott Moyers is the business editor for the Southeast Missourian. Send your comments, business news, information or questions to Biz Buzz, 301 Broadway, Cape Girardeau, Mo., 63702-0699, e-mail smoyers@semissourian.com or call 335-6611, extension 137.

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