Shopping center going up in west Cape

Monday, April 25, 2005

A new 20,000-square-foot shopping center will soon start to take shape in west Cape Girardeau, with two stores already under contract to open there when the center is finished this fall.

Drury Development Corp. announced last week that it will build the new center, to be named Lambert Plaza, on property south of Hollywood Video at the corner of Lambert and Siemers drives.

Al Liescheidt, director of development, said that Drury already has signed leases with David's Bridal and After Hours Formalwear -- two different businesses -- for spaces in the center.

The David's Bridal and After Hours stores will occupy more than 9,000 square feet, he said. The center will have 11,000 square feet of additional shops.

David's Bridal and After Hours Formalwear stores are operated by May Department Stores Co., which operates 492 department stores under such names as Famous-Barr, Foley's, Kaufmann's, Lord & Taylor, L.S. Ayres, Marshall-Fields, Meier & Frank, Robinsons-May, Strawbridges and The Jones Stores.

Some construction equipment was already on site last week, and Liescheidt said construction work should start soon.

* Lenny's wants to come to Cape: George Alvord, the CEO of Lenny's Sub Shops, has his sights set firmly on Cape Girardeau. The Memphis-based sandwich shop has more than 65 franchises, and Alvord, a Missouri native, wants to expand into the Show Me State.

More specifically, he wants to open his first one in Cape Girardeau, according to Lenny's spokeswoman Bridget Graf.

"Missouri is one of the places we want to be, and he suggested us starting in Cape Girardeau," she said. "Our plan here at Lenny's is to grow concentrically around the Memphis area, where we started and are headquartered. So Cape Girardeau is geographically a great choice for us to continue our growth plan."

Lenny's tends to be successful in college towns, she said, so Southeast Missouri State University is a huge advantage.

"There are also other chains there like Steak N' Shake that are doing very well in the area," she said. "If other chains are successful, we know it's an area we want to be in."

Alvord, by the way, graduated from Central Missouri State University and lived in Kansas City for seven years. His wife's family is from Desoto, Mo. She has relatives in Cape Girardeau, so he has visited here several times.

It's nice to know we may be getting a sandwich shop, but I think it's more telling that people from outside our state recognize that Cape Girardeau is a great place to run a business.

* Tracy's Place to close: Ask Tracy Bonner why her Jackson coffee shop is going to close this Friday and she'll quickly give you an answer.

"Pretty much, it's parking," she said. "If I were to stay open at night, it would be easier, but I don't want to stay open at night."

So for now, Tracy's Place is going to shut its doors. Bonner said there's simply no place for her customers to park near her restaurant at 127 W. Main St.

"There's more of us now in uptown Jackson, and it's getting to where people are having a hard time getting a space to park," she said. "I get calls from people who say, 'I was going to stop by, but I couldn't find a place to park.' That's tough."

Tracy's -- a popular place with locals -- may relocate. Bonner said that she's looking for a new spot with better parking.

"I love the people of Jackson," she said. "It's like we're losing a family."

* Late-night vendor: Ryan Humphries and Chuck McGinty -- the downtown jeweler's son -- are calling their new partnership Hump-Doggs, but I would have called it Hair of the Dog.

That's because the two young men are opening a new polish-and smoked-sausage stand geared toward the late-night bar crowd. It was set to open over last weekend outside CP McGinty's on Main Street.

The hours: 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday night.

"There's really no food business down there after 10 o'clock," Humphries said. "Restaurants stop serving food. I got the idea while I was living in Seattle for three years. When we got out of the bars, there was a hot-dog place. A lot of big cities have them."

Humphries and McGinty will rope off an area, set up a big grill and then cook polish sausages and smoked sausages. They also promise a unique taste, with lots of grilled onions and red peppers.

Don't be surprised if you see the stand set up other nights. Humphries said if he sees crowds downtown -- he lives there -- then he plans to hurry down and set up shop.

* Jackson Tire Center celebrates 25th year: When Charlie and Donna Glueck bought Jackson Tire and Appliance in 1980, Charlie Glueck's background in the automotive field was limited. But his entrepreneurial ambition outweighed the comfort and security of his job with Procter & Gamble, so he made the gamble.

Twenty five years later, that career choice was obviously a good move as Jackson Tire Center -- they removed the appliances from the store to concentrate on tires -- is celebrating 25 years under Charlie's stewardship.

The Glueck family business continues to grow and prosper. In 1987, the Jackson Fast Lube was built and was the first quick lube business in Jackson. In 1997, a new tire store was opened in Perryville, and in 1999 they opened a store in Ste. Genevieve. The year 2000 saw the Jackson Tire Center expand with the addition of four new bays.

Charlie has been asked many times what has made his business so successful. "First of all," he said. "There is no substitute for long hours and hard work."

But Charlie also relies heavily on his principles, which he calls his "Business Bible." The tenets are: always be honest and upfront from customers, don't do any work without customer approval and pay attention to detail.

Sounds like a successful recipe. No doubt Jackson Tire Center will log many more miles. Congrats.

* Huffman Insurance opens: Huffman Insurance Agency has opened at 821C Broadway.

Larry Henderson -- the self-described jack of all trades and computer consultant with the company -- told me last week that they will sell all types of insurance: auto, home, commercial, health, etc.

The company is owned by James Huffman, whose father opened the headquarter office in Cairo, Ill., in 1960. They still have an office in Cairo, and this is their first foray into Cape Girardeau.

* Are you def?: Charter's big announcement last week was that they are now offering high-definition channels. They're adding five channels to their line-up for an extra $10 or so. I was one of the first subscribers, and it looks great. I just wish there were more channels in high-def. Charter tells me they're in negotiations with the local channels to go high-def, though I understand the satellite companies are looking to do that, too.

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

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