Royal N'Orleans restaurant in Cape Girardeau to reopen today

Tuesday, March 31, 2009
KIT DOYLE ~ kdoyle@semissourian.com
The historic building housing the Royal N'Orleans is for sale along Broadway in downtown Cape Girardeau. The restaurant had been closed since Thursday.

After a three-day closure, the Royal N'Orleans restaurant will reopen for business today, owner Derek Miller said.

The restaurant had been closed since Thursday, when Miller said he learned the building that houses the restaurant at 300 Broadway had a sign advertising it is for sale. He said he informed most of his employees of the news that day. The sign has since been removed, though the building is still for sale.

Miller said the "for sale" sign that was placed outside the building gave the impression the restaurant was permanently closed. Even if he had opened, Miller said the sign would have deterred patrons from visiting the eatery to the point that it wouldn't have been profitable.

"I realize it may have not been the smartest thing to close the restaurant," Miller said. "I want to apologize to anyone who wanted to dine with us, and we look forward to seeing everybody again."

Miller said when the restaurant reopens it will resume normal hours and days of operation, which begin at 5 p.m. from Tuesday through Saturday.

In December 2007 Miller assumed ownership stake in the company and in July took 100 percent control of the business. He said he is trying to purchase the building from owners John and Jerri Wyman.

Cynthia Austin, a broker with Realty Executives of Cape County, is representing the Wymans and said they are directing all questions to her. Austin said she could not discuss the matter further. Attempts to reach the Wymans were unsuccessful.

"It is my sincere hope that the restaurant will continue to be successful for decades to come," Austin said. "Some of my fondest memories involve the Royal N'Orleans.

"I could virtually make a scrapbook myself from special occasions celebrated at this wonderful establishment," she said. "I know there are many residents of Cape Girardeau and others from miles around that have had similar experiences there."

The structure was built in 1868 and has served as an opera house, meeting place for German immigrants, Masonic temple, grocery store and production facility for the Daily Republican, which later became the Southeast Missourian.

The sale price for the building is listed at $750,000.

bblackwell@semissourian.com

388-3628

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