Menards home improvement store opened May 15 at Siemers Drive and Bloomfield Road in Cape Girardeau. The $8 million store was the largest retailer to open in Cape Girardeau since 2006, when both Kohl's and Sears Grand opened their doors -- it's also the southernmost location for the Wisconsin-based chain, which has 267 stores. The Cape Girardeau store has 162,340 square feet of retail space, a garden center and lumber warehouse. It also carries name-brand appliances, pet products, lawn and garden supplies and convenience groceries. Cape Girardeau mayor Harry Rediger told the Southeast Missourian he hopes Menards will serve as an anchor and attract other retailers. A new road, Armstrong Drive, will eventually run west of Siemers Drive starting behind Menards and extending to Route K. City officials hope Armstrong Drive, a $2 million project that was part of the Transportation Trust Fund 3 program, will open the area up for development.
Pansy Glenn of Kewanee, Mo., was hired as executive director of the Discovery Playhouse in August. She replaced Jennifer Mullix, who resigned from the position in May to pursue graduate studies in St. Louis. Glenn first visited the Cape Girardeau children's museum with her grandchildren, who live in Cape Girardeau. Her background in marketing and fundraising and her interest in working with children made the job a natural fit for her.
"When I got the list of job duties, I went through and checked off every single one of the things I had done in the past. It was like this is meant to be. Everything on there I had done somewhere in my lifetime," she told the Southeast Missourian.
Glenn previously worked with Madden Media to promote Missouri tourism through advertising in statewide publications. She is also a former executive director of the Sikeston-Miner Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Glenn said her top priorities in her new role include developing the second floor of the Discovery Playhouse, recruiting more volunteers, improving internal organization of the museum's inventory and finding new grant opportunities.
Academy Sports + Outdoors
Cape Girardeau will soon welcome another major retailer to the Siemers Drive area: Academy Sports + Outdoors is building a $1.8 million, 71,680-square-foot store at 270 Shirley Drive, between Sam's Club and Kohl's. The Texas-based outdoor lifestyle retailer offers hunting, fishing and camping equipment, along with sports and leisure products, footwear, apparel and more. Academy Sports has more than 140 stores across the U.S., including locations in Joplin and Springfield, Mo.
With Academy Sports comes a development deal similar to one put in place when Kohl's was built in 2004. Under this agreement, the city and county will use a portion of sales tax collected from the new store to reimburse the developer, Drury Development Corp., for public infrastructure improvements. These could include parking lots, lighting, utility work and stormwater detention.
New dining options
Delicious things happened this year in Cape Girardeau. Bagger Dave's Legendary Burger Tavern opened in June at the Town Plaza Shopping Center, 2016 William St. The franchise is known for its fresh burgers with more than 30 toppings to choose from, plus hand-cut French fries, sweet potato chips, barbecue, hand-dipped milkshakes and craft beers. Sugar Buzz Bakery opened in August at nearby 1929 Independence St., offering freshly made cream horns, cannolis, eclairs, cupcakes, fudge, cookies, cinnamon rolls, brownies, pies and cakes. September brought Simply Swirled, a self-serve frozen yogurt shop at 274 S. Mount Auburn Road, a few doors down from McAlister's Deli. Simply Swirled has 10 flavors with the ability to swirl some flavors together for a total of 15 options. One dairy-free sorbet option is available, along with 36 toppings to create your perfect dessert. Also new this year was Watami, a hibachi steak house and grill in the former Ponderosa location on South Kingshighway.
Lang Jewelry and Fine Gifts, a fixture on Cape Girardeau's Main Street for 96 years, closed this fall when owners Roger and Judith Anne Lang retired. The jewelry store had been in the Lang family since 1916 at the same location, 126 N. Main St. While the business started out specializing in pocket watches and fine silver, it expanded to include a variety of modern wristwatches, baby gifts and jewelry of all kinds.
"It's very bittersweet. On one hand, we're ready to retire and enjoy life. But, on the other hand, we will miss our customers, as many of them have become dear friends over the years," said Judith Anne Lang in an interview with The Best Years.
Longtime community advocate Kim Mothershead of Cape Girardeau died Aug. 27 after a battle with cancer. She was 53.
Mothershead's career spanned many fields. She taught special needs students in Bloomfield, Mo., Sikeston and Kelly school districts; co-owned Don Vance Ford in Versallies, Mo., and other companies; worked on Senate Bill 40, which distributed tax money to serve people with developmental and physical disabilities; and served on the board of regents at Southeast Missouri State University for six years.
Mothershead attended First Baptist Church of Jackson. She also was active in the Southeast Alumni Association and helped start the Women's Walk for Athletics to benefit the Redhawk Athletics Scholarship Fund. She worked with YELL, Youth Education Literacy and Learning, to get children's authors and illustrators to local schools; served on the board for the Safe House for Women; and volunteered with the United Way. Mothershead was active in the American Cancer Society as a leader and advocate.
"Anytime you were with her the world would be lighter and brighter," said Jane Stacy, director emerita of alumni services at the university. "The intensity of her interest was such that in whatever she did, she was not content to be ordinary."
Mothershead left behind two sons, two daughters and a granddaughter.
World of Honda-Yamaha
Cape Girardeau's World of Honda-Yamaha closed in September. Robert Ford and his wife, Marty, had owned the business since February 1979, and decided to retire this year. The building at 1728 N. Kingshighway was sold, although details were not made available, and all inventory was liquidated.