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Cape Central High Photos

Ken Steinhoff, Cape Girardeau Central High School Class of 1965, was a photographer for The Tiger and The Girardot, and was on the staff of The Capaha Arrow and The Sagamore at Southeast Missouri State University. He worked as a photographer / reporter (among other things) at The Jackson Pioneer and The Southeast Missourian.

Come here to see photos and read stories (mostly true) about coming of age in Southeast Missouri in the 1960s.

Please comment on the articles when you see I have left out a bit of history, forgotten a name or when your memory of a circumstance conflicts with mine. (My mother says her stories have improved now that more and more of the folks who could contradict her have died off.) Your information helps to make this a wonderful archive and may end up in book form.

South Kingshighway Erasures

Wow, you leave town for a couple of weeks and stuff disappears all over the place. I caught these three business landmarks being erased in the South Kingshighway shopping center south of William Street.

It’s all part of a plan to expand Hobby Lobby and to create a driveway to access the center off William.

The first building to be attacked was the EZ Express Carwash on the corner. I don’t think my vehicles ever passed through there, but that’s because I consider dust to be a paint protector. You can click the photos to make them larger.

Pizza Hut being nibbled

The only memory I have of the Pizza Hut is when one night I pulled there in just as a guy pitched a bunch of fast food debris out his car window. Putting on my most benign, helpful face, I tapped on his window, handed him his junk and said, “Excuse me, sir. I think you may have dropped these.” He was so flummoxed he not only took the bags, but he thanked me.

China Town Buffet moved

A sign in the window said the business was going to move to 329 S. Kingshighway under a new name – the China Crown.

I found this blurb on a real estate site: “China Town Buffet plans to eventually move a block south of their present location according to Tom Kelsey, commercial broker with Lorimont Place, Ltd.  Kelsey said his company recently brokered the sale of the former Pagoda Gardens property at 329 S. Kingshighway to Jerry Feng, owner of China Town Grill Buffet, currently operating at 213 S. Kingshighway.

“The former Pagoda restaurant operated at the location since 1987 and closed in 2014 when the owner Sam Prasanphanich retired from the restaurant business after 30 years. Ironically, Pagoda was the first restaurant in the Southeast Missouri area to offer a Chinese buffet. Feng and his family will carry on the Chinese buffet concept at their new location. The Lorimont broker understands the new buyers will make significant renovations both inside and out at the former restaurant building and this most likely will involve several months of construction before they relocate and begin operations there.  No sales price was disclosed, but the Lorimont Place website lists the property price at $619,900.”

Gallery of vanishing businesses

Click on any photo to make it larger, then use your arrow keys to navigate around.

5 comments to South Kingshighway Erasures

  • Sue Roussel

    Life goes on and life is good…

  • Andy Pemberton

    They are tearing down structures that were built after I left. Doesn’t seem right. 😉 I saw this Ogden Nash quote that pretty well sums it up: “Progress might have been all right once, but it has gone on too long.”

  • I won’t really miss these businesses, though I patronized them at one time. The Pizza Hut holds the most memories, as my three kids and I would go there pretty often. They never changed the songs on the juke box, so I could count on the kids begging for quarters and then playing, “Paradise City”! They knew I hated it!!! It was so LOUD!!! They laugh about it to this day. I do love Hobby Lobby, but I’m dubious about a William Street entrance…

  • pat Smith

    It is supposed to be a right turn only entrance and exit.

  • Sheila Hopkins Phillips

    All of your pictures and commentary are very interesting, Ken!

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