Broadway Books opening soon

Monday, June 26, 2006

Any day now.

That's the time frame for the opening of Broadway Books & Roasting Co., the new downtown book store and gourmet coffee shop, according to one of the owners.

"We're just going to open the door and not make an announcement," said Jo Ann Bohnert, who owns the business at 605 Broadway with Janet Woods. "We're just finishing up a few last-minute things."

The opening might be as early as this week, she said. The shop -- in the old Robertson Photography building -- will include 7,000 used books on all subjects, Bohnert said, including a room dedicated to children's books. (I see a trip for me and my 5-year-old daughter, Hannah, in the future.)

Also, coffee lovers can look forward to the fresh-roasted coffees made from beans from places like Brazil, Colombia, Kenya and Ethiopia. Bohnert promises the coffee is as good as it smells.

"The smell is so overwhelming," she said. "A lot of people say they like the smell, but they don't like to drink it. It just tastes so much better, it's so fresh."

Also, the adjoining Rivertown Guest House is off to a good start. In fact, the guest house, which also used to be owned by the Robertsons, never really closed.

"We just picked up where the Robertsons left off," she said. "It's a quaint, little, comfortable, quiet, 1870s two-room cottage."

* Last Call: Every time Tim Schloss came to Cape Girardeau, he would drive past the building at 632 Broadway and think: "That could really be a nice bar."

So he bought it, as I reported a few weeks back. Now he's given me a few more details. The former Players bar will be called Last Call -- get it? -- and has a tentative opening date of Aug. 13, though it may be a week or two later than that.

The previous tenants were scheduled to vacate the building last Friday, and Schloss wants to evaluate the building and see what work needs to be done. But he describes what he wants to do as an "upscale college bar."

Schloss, who lives in St. Louis but graduated from Southeast Missouri State University, plans to put in fixtures that he bought from a corporate entertainment center in Manhattan.

"We want to take what's there and make it a lot nicer," he said.

* Corporate Benefits Strategies merges to expand services: Corporate Benefits Strategies, owned by Tom Viers and Kurt May, has merged with St. Louis-based Daniel and Henry Co.

The Daniel and Henry Co. is the 52nd-largest private broker in the United States, according to Hale's Reports. The company is also one of the largest brokers of personal insurance in Missouri. The Daniel and Henry Co. provides risk management and insurance products and services to clients nationally and internationally.

As of June 1, Corporate Benefits changed its name to Daniel and Henry.

Rob Johnson, who oversees the property and casualty insurance side of the business, said that Corporate Benefits sold health insurance for local businesses and their employees for years.

"But Tom and Kurt wanted to branch out," Johnson said. "There was a big demand for other things besides group health. Merging with Daniel and Henry allowed them to do that. It also allowed Tom and Kurt to still be owners of their business."

Now, the new Daniel and Henry Co., at 1435 N. Mount Auburn Road, offers a full line of insurance, Johnson said.

* North Pointe Center to include three new restaurant chains: As first reported on my blog last week -- you still aren't reading it? -- the North Pointe Centre development on North Kingshighway is really starting to take shape. The new Sonic has been open for a few months, and developer Sandy Helwege says more is on the horizon. Three more restaurant chains have committed to build there, she said, though she added none is ready to make official announcements yet.

Also, you've probably noticed some dirt work going on. The footings are being poured for a new 4,000-square-foot office building. The building could house one business of four 1,000-square-foot buildings for office space. Construction is expected to be completed in October.

* Update on former Kinder Care building: Frank Kinder with Red Letter Communications sent me an e-mail recently with an update on the renovation of the former Kinder Care day-care building at 113 S. Silver Springs Road.

The parking lot was recently finished, after a coat of fresh asphalt to complete the new concrete parking lot that wraps the north side of the building. Kinder said they donated the many kiddie cubbyholes to another day care in Perryville.

"It's now a clean slate," Kinder wrote. "We're ready for tenant specs on interior finish and construction."

Kinder said they're looking to sell the building or lease/build to suit. The new roof employs a free-span truss system that means the building is wide open inside.

"It's ideal for a medical or service building," he said, "with quick access to Mount Auburn or Kingshighway, without the high velocity or volume of traffic."

* 2 North Bistro now open: Downtown Cape Girardeau's newest restaurant -- 2 North Bistro -- opened two Fridays ago, owner Ed Radetic told me last week.

On the first Friday night, the restaurant drew 50 to 60 people and on the following Saturday there were several hundred. Radetic said he was also especially pleased with the remodeling job, which included a new bar and new open-view kitchen. The restaurant features a variety of American entrees, including steak, pasta and seafood.

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 smoyers@semissourian.com or call (573) 335-6611, extension 137.

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