f/8 and Be There
Fred Lynch

The Last Chance: Gone. More to go.

Posted Sunday, February 8, 2009, at 5:15 PM

Thanks to fellow blogger Brad Hollerbach, we saw an old picture of the property at 834 Broadway that the Southeast Missouri State University Foundation has acquired.

The University plans to raze the building, along with the Howard's Sporting Goods building at 900 Broadway, to create parking spaces and "to incorporate landscape features into the properties to make them aesthetically pleasing to the community," according to a press release.

The undated picture from the Southeast Missourian archives shows it was Schwab's Cities Service. It was so listed in a 1942 city directory.

In the Feb. 4 blog, Jacksonjazzman commented: "Guess what -- the b&w photo of the old service station was taken from the top of a historic building across the street (katty-corner), one that had roots to the community's German roots -- but that building is now gone too!"

That building was called the Last Chance Bar. It was formerly known as the First and Last Chance Bar, because it was the first bar inside the Cape Girardeau city limits.

That was a long time ago when Pacific Street was the edge of town.

When the building was razed in the 1980s, the bar had been renamed Second Chance. It clearly had run out of chances.

Our librarian, Sharon Sanders, found this old photo of the Last Chance. It shows the bar shared the building with Freeman Groceries.

The next picture shows the parking lot at Broadway and Pacific on which the Last Chance once stood. Across the street is the Howard's building and the gas station.

Another picture shows the proximity of the gas station to the old Esquire Theatre on Broadway.


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  • The old bank behind the service station on Pacific is going to be razed as well

    -- Posted by mynameismud on Mon, Feb 9, 2009, at 2:07 PM
  • Fred:

    I enjoy your pictorial history and perspective of the City of Cape Girardeau. My family has a long history along the Broadway corridor. My grandfather owned/operated two service stations at the corner of Broadway and Henderson.

    My great Uncle(s) John and Joseph Herbst operated the First Chance and Last Chance at Broadway/Pacific (many of you may remember as the Second Chance). Uncle John had other saloon/bars around town in the day.

    From the SEMissourian:

    100 years ago - March 10, 1906

    Construction has started on John Herbst's big, two-story building at the corner of Broadway and Pacific; the second floor will be used as a dance hall and will be the biggest in Cape Girardeau.

    -- Posted by chas111 on Mon, Feb 9, 2009, at 3:31 PM
  • Fred,

    From what direction is the photo of the Last Chance shot from? Is that looking north on Pacific toward Broadway? I'm having trouble seeing a cross street.



    -- Posted by Brad_Hollerbach on Mon, Feb 9, 2009, at 9:50 PM
  • Yes it's looking north from near the old Dairy Queen.

    -- Posted by Ron Cook on Tue, Feb 10, 2009, at 12:03 AM
  • The perspective of the old photo of the Last & Second Chance saloon would have to be looking north from Pacific, as I remember the building was close to the corner, and there isn't any street on the left side of the old picture. Thus it would seemingly have to be looking toward Broadway from Pacific. It was a great place to have a cold one. Where is Algier's when you need it?

    -- Posted by Hugh M Bean on Wed, Feb 11, 2009, at 4:24 PM
  • I think the Last Chance part of that building must have been torn off many years ago, I only remember the four arched bays of the grocery shown in that photo. Maybe the street going north-south was widened. I do remember there always being something like a side lot for parking that would have been where the bar portion could have once stood. With shade and trees, it does not appear to be a street turning to the south in the old photo. Thanks for the follow-up and great information!!!

    -- Posted by jacksonjazzman on Thu, Feb 26, 2009, at 2:34 PM
  • oops - other way around, just got back to the photo. it would have been the grocery section that was demolished partially at first on that corner. The Last Chance portion of that building stood for many years.

    -- Posted by jacksonjazzman on Thu, Feb 26, 2009, at 2:36 PM
  • You can see some aerial photos of the First Chance Last Chance / Second Chance / Saloon in the corner of one of these 1966 aerial photos:


    -- Posted by ksteinhoff on Sun, Feb 28, 2010, at 11:15 PM
  • Fred/Ken: Many Thanks! for the pleasant memories of the old Last Chance. I had many a cold ones there when George Wulfers(sp?) owned it. In the mid-60's the building immediately to the west of the Chance was a car dealership (Pontiac I think) but then they moved and the building was razed and became Dairy Queen Brazier? During the mid/late 60's the Chance was Pizza King on the left and the bar on the right. We used a "hall" downstairs below the bar-side......

    -- Posted by Bearcat66 on Mon, Mar 8, 2010, at 9:42 AM
  • Wow - I had forgotten about those tudor looking shopfront just to the west of old Howards...Seems like the beauty school building was there for so long. Anyone know when that strip to the west, toward the old Baptist building was taken out ? It's in teh color photo on the "central" link above...Thanks.

    -- Posted by jacksonjazzman on Sun, Mar 14, 2010, at 11:51 AM
  • Thanks for posting the pic of Freeman Groceries. It was owned by my great-great grandfather.

    -- Posted by Astowick on Tue, May 11, 2010, at 10:22 PM