Luxury spa to open in downtown

Monday, June 6, 2005

Want to put caviar on your face instead of eating it? (Who doesn't?) Want to have something done to your body called a mud wrap? Want to pamper yourself instead of your toddler?

Then you'll be glad to know that a new luxury spa -- that features, among other things, caviar facials -- is coming to downtown Cape Girardeau. Spa 151 on the River, so named because it's located at 151 S. Spanish St., is holding a grand opening June 18.

Cape Girardeau sisters Ashli Rowland and Jaimi Grimm have been working for six months getting the historic downtown building ready. They say the new spa is not just for blue bloods or the fairer sex.

"It's for anyone who wants to feel good," said Rowland, who will own the business while her sister manages it.

The June 18 soiree will feature music, appetizers and complimentary beverages. (That's the kind of pampering I like.) But for those more interested in their services, Spa 151 will offer massages, salt and mud wraps, facials, permanent makeup, pedicures, hairstyling and more.

The two got the idea as they traveled to St. Louis and Las Vegas to get spa treatments.

"We thought we should open up a business like that because we've been to enough spas to know what would work," said Rowland, who also owns Check Please. "My sister lives next door to the house, and we thought it would be perfect."

It certainly is a grand old house. It's known in historical circles as the Hoche/Whittenberger house, and it's on the northwest corner of Spanish and William streets. The front section dates to 1836 and the middle section was probably built by locally renowned architect and stonemason Joseph Lansmon. The rear portion, a one-story frame structure of contemporary design, was built by the late architect John Boardman in about 1980.

* Woodard's closing: Ron and Glenda Woodard, who have operated a Woodard's restaurant somewhere in Southeast Missouri since 1979, will close Woodard's in Jackson for good on July 3. The couple says it's simply time to retire.

The Woodards started their first restaurant in Bell City in 1979 before moving to Delta in 1981, where they stayed until 1995. They've had the Jackson restaurant for the past 10 years.

"It was a hard decision for us," Glenda Woodard said last week. "We've had people follow us ever since our Bell City days. I really got attached to the people. It's almost like a family. I've got a big old box of Kleenex ready for our last day."

* Glass gallery: A new contemporary glass art gallery will be opening in Cape Girardeau sometime late next month. Paul and Peg MacDougall, who own PMAC Music on William Street, will open Edward Bernard Gallery at 107 West Drive, Suite D, which is the same building as Sylvan Learning Center.

Peg MacDougall is the glass art fan, and she said glass can be formed into magnificent sculptures. Much of the work traditionally is vases, but more and more people are using glass in lighting.

The gallery will feature work that is for sale from artists across the country. But MacDougall said these are not knickknacks -- prices can range from $50 to $5,000.

"It's not a gift shop," she said. "It's purely an art gallery."

The business will also feature an in-house interior designer, Sarah Pfanstiel, who will help customers place the work in their homes.

* Return of Illustrious Jack's: Dave Gerlach, who owned Illustrious Jack's frozen custard shop in Cape Girardeau until it closed a couple years ago, announced last week that he has bought the property at the southwest corner of Kingshighway and William Street, directly in front of Hobby Lobby.

Gerlach said the building will contain one new business, Xpress Car Wash and Advanced Auto Detailing, and will see the return of Illustrious Jack's Frozen Custard. Future plans, Gerlach tells me, include drive-through coffee and pastry.

Gerlach said to look for the opening of Illustrious Jack's in July and Express Car Wash and Advanced Auto Detailing in August.

* Buckner's banquet room: Buckner's Brewery in downtown Cape Girardeau is working on renovating the third floor of the building to open a banquet room that will be known as the River View Room. I got a peek a two weeks ago, and it's a huge room that owner Phil Brinson is remodeling to make available for meetings, wedding receptions and other special events.

"It's got one of the best views in the city of the river," Brinson said.

The banquet facility -- which will include a dance floor, a bar, restrooms and private dressing room for brides -- will seat about 300. Brinson hopes to have it open later this month.

* Getting its kicks: The TaeKwonDo Advantage Family Black Belt Leadership Academy recently opened in the Westfield mall near the Pasta House entrance.

The academy specializes in the traditional Korean art and offers a number of programs for martial arts and physical fitness. TaeKwonDo Advantage is owned by Tim Wall of Sikeston, Mo., who has been running a similar academy there since 1999.

* Texas Roadhouse: I had a very insightful conversation with Brian Judd, the owner of the new Texas Roadhouse that is going up in Cape Girardeau.

I won't share all of the details here -- for that check out the June issue of "Business Today" -- but Judd said the new restaurant will employ about 140 people and is set to open the second week of August.

* Fitness center: Contours Express is having its ribbon-cutting ceremony at 9 a.m. today. The women-only fitness center at the Town Plaza, is next to the UPS Store.

* Charter DVR date announced: After much anticipation, mainly by me, Charter will begin offering its digital video recording service to area subscribers on July 11. It's basically TiVo for cable subscribers.

It's better than TiVo, but about the same as what satellite companies already have been providing their customers. But Charter boasts that you don't have to buy the equipment, unlike with satellite companies.

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

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