Burrito-Ville back on Broadway; DQ out

Tuesday, September 7, 2004

Burrito-Ville is getting ready to mark its fourth birthday in Cape Girardeau, and to celebrate, owner Justin Denton has arranged a homecoming of sorts. After two years at 820 Sprigg St., the eatery will be returning to Broadway in early October.

The business began at 1027 Broadway in 2000. After two years of growth, the eatery moved to a larger location on Sprigg Street. Now, plans of continuing expansion have brought Burrito-Ville's path almost full circle, to within a block of the original location. In June, Denton purchased Broadway Court -- the complex on the 900 block of Broadway that includes AFLAC, SEMO Laundry, Dairy Queen and some apartment buildings. The plan now is to move Burrito-Ville into the current Dairy Queen building.

The Broadway Dairy Queen's owner Robert Peeler confirmed that Denton has bought the property and that his operation would close after September. He had no further comment as to why or what his plans are.

Burrito-Ville manager Steve Summers said the new location will offer more room, a kitchen separate from the dining area and a drive-through that will help the Mexican restaurant further expand. He added that future plans include keeping the drive-through open until 2 a.m. on Saturdays and looking into making Burrito-Ville a sit-down, full-service restaurant that also serves alcohol.

Denton, Summers and general manager Kris Baranovic hope to have the newest version of Burrito-Ville up and running within the first two weeks of October. At the latest, they are pushing to have it open in time to take advantage of the Southeast Missouri State University Homecoming parade as it passes on Broadway.

Meanwhile back on Sprigg Street: As Burrito-Ville prepares to leave its section of the strip mall at 820 Sprigg St., the building's owner, Loy Welker, is already in negotiations to fill the impending vacancy. In fact, he said he's close to closing some deals to fill the other two available spots in the strip mall as well.

Welker said that although two of the three open buildings will still be under long-term leases from their previous tenants, he is working to get businesses in all three as soon as possible. Although he would not divulge the names of the prospective tenants, he said he's in serious negotiations with a national pizza chain, a custard and ice cream business and a St. Louis-based deli chain to occupy the strip mall.

In addition, Welker said he is also still working with the lone remaining tenant, U-Tan, to expand its operation into the adjacent building space.

River Ridge Winery celebrates a decade: On Sept. 17, 1994, Jerry and Joannie Smith decided to spin off their success with the seasonal Yule Log Cabin Holiday Shop and open a winery on an 80-acre farm two miles north of Commerce, Mo. Over the past decade, River Ridge Winery has grown internally and externally, but the Smiths are keeping their mission the same: to provide a homey and friendly place for their patrons to enjoy wine, food, nature and friends.

When River Ridge started, it was a two-person operation in a small century-old house where about 500 gallons of wine was made every year. The only food offered was a cheese and bread basket. Today, the winery has expanded with the addition of the Fermentation Room Cafe, with an adjacent enclosed patio dining area where a full menu of appetizers, sandwiches and entrees can be enjoyed year-round. The Smiths have also added a separate production facility where now more than 4,000 gallons of wine are made, some of which is shipped for sale at Schnucks and other local wine shops. They've also built a pavilion and a fire pit where patrons can enjoy the rest of their homemade drink.

As it keeps growing, Joannie Smith said they have even more plans for expansion in the coming years. One plan is to develop some overnight units on the farm where patrons can stay and enjoy the environment for more than one day. Joannie said this perpetual will to grow is fueled by the continued support of the customers.

Scott City IT company buys Sikeston outfit: When owner Jay Butler decided to close the doors to Software Hardware, an information technology company in Sikeston, Mo., he was determined not to leave his customers without tech support. So he chose to sell his company to Scott City's Technology and Networking Inc.

As a result, when Software Hardware closed its doors Wednesday, its phones began ringing at the Scott City office. Technology and Networking owners Jason and Shawn Eftink said they think their new Sikeston contingent will find their company to be more than adequate caretakers.

Technology and Networking began in August 1997 as an Illinois-based corporation, later becoming a registered foreign corporation in Missouri and Kansas. The company will be able to provide their new customers with structured cabling, computer/printer repair, firewall/router programming and GoldMine/HEAT support. They also provide packaged services, such as network security, virus protection, URL filtering and spam filtering.

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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