Developer's investment says a lot about this community

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Those who live in Cape Girardeau and the surrounding communities can take it for granted the values and benefits of living here.

It's easy to forget or overlook the many reasons why Cape Girardeau can be a wonderful place to live.

Developer Andy Patel saw this up close several years ago, and decided to make Cape Girardeau his home.

But he did much more than that. Patel has invested a fortune into the city, trying to upgrade the city's entertainment options, first by helping bring a minor league baseball team to Cape Girardeau; but more recently, his vision of a new entertainment venue called Dogwood Social House.

Dogwood will have a little something for everybody. There is an arcade with foosball, pool tables, shuffleboard and hatchet throwing among other activities; a cigar room; a few bowling lanes; and a beer wall for self-serve, by-the-ounce craft and domestic brews. There will be a huge, 440-foot wall of LED televisions, which can accommodate more than 150 people.

This is a big investment by a person hoping to improve the community.

Patel started simply, making $3.25 an hour as a cook, and worked his way up through the restaurant industry over the last couple of decades. He owned several franchises in several states before selling off some 100 Burger Kings and moving to Cape Girardeau.

"I wanted to live in Cape, so I sold all my BKs to start my own concept," Patel said. "I owned Applebee's for the last eight years, so I used to come to this town. It's a small town, but not small. It's a great medical field and great for kids for school. And it's centrally located. You have a university and nice hospitals. You have a little bit of everything to do in this town. And it's not overpriced; Cape is not overpriced."

Patel saw Cape Girardeau first as a good place to live. He had previously lived in Florida, and chose to live here.

Patel is a private person, who would much rather stay out of the spotlight. His business ventures make it hard for him to do so, but regardless, we hope his businesses prosper here in Cape Girardeau, and we say thank you for buying in to what Cape has to offer, in more ways than one.

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