Despite two restaurant closings, we have much local flavor on the food scene

Ruby Tuesday’s and O’Charley’s restaurants had become dining staples in Cape Girardeau, before their closings were announced last week.

The chain restaurants were closed after lease terms and agreements expired and were not renewed with Drury Southwest.

Outside looking in, it’s difficult to tell exactly what happened that led to the restaurants moving out.

What is becoming clearer by the week, however, is that Cape Girardeau is adding local flavors to its dining choices.

For example, within just a few weeks, a new restaurant will be added to the Marquette Tower, called Top of the Marq, which will be known for its spectacular view of downtown Cape Girardeau and the river. Its menu will include a range of seafood, meats, desserts and appetizers. Down the street on Broadway, the long-awaited opening of Mary Jane Bourbon + Smokehouse is set to open soon following Carisa Stark’s wildly successful burger and beer dive in Perryville. Another restaurant opening on Broadway, Trio, serves plant-based cuisine for vegans and vegetarians. Depending on how far back you want to go, you can find new local restaurants popping up all over. In fact, we hear that restaurant workers are becoming hard to find. Even some of the chains, such as Sugarfire, have regional roots that are giving the city more of a distinctive flavor than some of the national chains we’ve come to expect.

Many of us will miss the awesome salad bar at Ruby Tuesday’s and O’Charley’s cheese wedges. But there are many, many options in Cape Girardeau to satisfy just about any hankerings you might have.

If you enjoy food, we encourage you to check out our food and dining page every Thursday, where local columnists give you great descriptions of what our local restaurants have to offer. We are lucky to have so many eating options here in Southeast Missouri.