Meat Shop back in business

Monday, May 17, 2004

Those of you who've been missing your specialized meat products can sigh in relief. As of this morning, the Meat Shop at 1225 S. Kingshighway is ready to take orders for steaks, Smackers and jalapeno brats. According to co-owner Rob Osborn, the place is back with a few subtle tweaks.

The store closed back on April 19, Osborn said, to allow work to be done to the food preparation areas in the back of the shop. Improvements needed to be made to accommodate several significant law changes implemented by the USDA in regard to food safety.

But while the doors were locked for hardware changes, Osborn and his partner/father Bob Osborn took a look at some other aspects of their 15-year-old business. As a result, when customers walk in, they may notice new uniforms for the employees, newly painted display cases and an expanded sampling area for their in-house products.

They've also shifted things around to allow for more personal customer-clerk interaction and eye contact.

"We've totally restructured the way we approach our customer service," Rob Osborn said. He said that while the changes may seem little, they make a big difference to customers.

Now that they're back selling the low-carb and reduced-salt meats that they've become known for, Rob Osborn said, they're looking into the possibility of offering low-carb cooking classes out of the same kitchen they use for catering.

Banking on new building: First State Community Bank has announced plans to erect a new two-story building at the corner of Broadview and William in Cape Girardeau. Bank president Charles Daniel said the bank has purchased the 1.3 acre lot west of Applebee's, which -- pending regulatory approval by the city -- will cover 9,000 square feet of what Daniel hopes will be the bank's Cape Girardeau headquarters.

"It will give us a greater presence in Cape Girardeau," Daniel said. "I believe it will be our busiest branch."

The new facility will become First State Community's hub for commercial loans, while maintaining its capacity as a retail center. The bank's current Cape Girardeau location at 1602 N. Kingshighway will remain open as a retail outlet. Daniel said the existing staff is to be blended with three or four new employees and divided between both locations.

Construction is planned to begin in two months. Daniel said completion of the building is slated to be within a year.

McAlister's Deli coming to Cape: Don and Cheri Harris have recently announced plans to open McAlister's Deli in Cape Girardeau. According to commercial broker Tom Kelsey, the new 4,000-square-foot deli will open in at the north end of the Lorimont Place development at 244 S. Mount Auburn Road. Kelsey said the new deli will require a complete renovation of interior space at Lorimont and will also feature an outside dining area.

McAlister's is a national franchise chain that started in Oxford, Miss., in 1989. The restaurants focus on a healthy menu, a non-fast food experience and affordable family pricing. Menus will include sandwiches, spuds, salads, soups, sweets and their famous sweet tea. Carryout and catering will also be offered.

Kelsey said the deli is scheduled to be open this summer.

Bel Air open: As of Tuesday night, the doors to the Bel Air Grill have reopened. New operator Misty Thrower said she quietly opened for business at 24 Spanish St., offering a limited menu of mostly appetizers and alcohol. She hopes that her bill of fare will be fully equipped with burgers, chicken and other specialties within the next couple weeks. The Bel Air Grill is currently operating Tuesday through Saturday, opening at 11 a.m.

Special Touch back from ashes: On March 27, 2003, an electrical fire started by an old black-and-white tube TV burned Sissy Christopher's Special Touch Pet Grooming to the ground. But from those cinders at 2719 Thomas Drive, the 25-year-old Cape Girardeau business has risen anew, with a smaller, more organized facility on the same spot. As of April 21, Christopher was back, providing day-care, motel and salon services for local pets.

USA Mattress moved: Co-owner of USA Mattress Outlet in Sikeston, Mo., Terry Stockman recently moved the Cape Girardeau outlet from its original spot on Independence to 2228 Bloomfield. USA Mattresses has been an area direct dealer of mattresses from 10 factories for the past 10 years. They've been operating it in Cape Girardeau for the past five years.

Stockman said the new building, opened May 10, offers more parking and bigger space for the expanding operation. Stockman and Susan Northorn also own an outlet in Mount Vernon, Ill.

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

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