I shot this photo as a candidate for The Missourian’s annual Achievement Edition because it looked like Ricardo’s Italian Swiss Chalet Ristorante on Broadway had been spiffed up. My newspaper buddies are going to say I buried the lead, so stick in there until the very end for a surprising twist.
Not as spiffy in 2009
I was scrolling through some of the other pictures I’ve taken walking up and down Broadway more recently and spotted this 2009 picture that makes the building look a little rough. I can’t tell what has gone into what used to be Sisco’s Professional Barber Salon on the left. There are some beer signs in the window, so it may have been joined with the former Ricardo’s.
Tattoos replace optometrists
Optometrists Joe L. Mosley and James A. Drace have been replaced by a tattoo parlor.
Owner of landmark business dies in crash
When I did a search for “Ricardo’s” I couldn’t believe the story that showed up in the March 7, 2003, Missourian: “Crash kills founder of Cape McDonald’s.”
As 13 of the fast-food restaurants around Southeast Missouri continue to fly their flags at half-staff, authorities are pointing to bad weather as a contributing factor in the Wednesday night airplane crash that took the life of Jerry Davis, the man who brought McDonald’s to Cape Girardeau 35 years ago.
The McDonald’s connection would have been enough to make him an important figure in Cape’s dining scene, but a detail at the bottom of Scott Moyer’s story was astounding: In the past, Davis has also owned Royal N’Orleans and three eating establishments that have since closed: Ricardo’s, Shakey’s Pizza and Pfisters Drive-In.
Except for Wimpy’s, Mr. Davis had a corner on Cape Girardeau’s version of American Graffiti.
What you’re looking at on the east side of the Broadway Theater is the ghost of Shakey’s Pizza Parlor. Notice the outline of the chimneys and the roofing tar.
It took a little time to figure out what had been there because the 1968 City Directory didn’t have a listing for the Broadway Theater, but it DID have Shakey’s Pizza Parlor (Rivermart, Inc.) at 801 Broadway. The 1979 directory listed both businesses.
Pair charged in Arson in 1981
The front page of the May 24, 1981, Missourian showed a photo of Shakey’s Pizza with a story that said that two Cape Girardeau men were charged with arson and burglary as the result of a fire that heavily damaged Shakey’s Pizza Parlor at 801 Broadway early Saturday morning. I won’t name the two because I didn’t bother to track the outcome of the case.
Sgt. Jack Reubel, a special arson investigator … said there were “five points of origin of fire” in the basement and dining area of the pizza parlor. The resulting fire heavily damaged the rear areas of the basement and dining area and caused extensive smoke damage to the upstairs portion of the building, according to firefighters.
Shakey’s and Broadway sold in 1985
- A June 9, 1985, business column by Frony said that the old Broadway Theater and a building adjacent to its east side were acquired by Vinyard Christian Fellowship from Kerasotes Missouri Theaters, Inc. The theater closed March 15, 1984. The adjacent two-story building had been unused since a fire several years ago had gutted the ground floor, occupied by Shakey’s Pizza Parlor. The second floor was once occupied by offices of the old Southeast Missouri Telephone Co.
- Fred Lynch has Frony pictures of the Blizzard of ’79, including photos of Broadway being plowed.
- Ray Owen’s January 10, 1994, business column reported that “the fire-damaged structure which housed Shakey’s Pizza Parlor more than a decade ago, is being demolished to make way for a parking lot for Kerasotes Theaters. The building was recently acquired by Kerasotes Theaters, which owns the movie house adjoining the structure. [This is a little confusing because Frony’s 1985 column said Kerasotes sold the property in 1985 and that the Broadway closed in 1984. Did the deal with the church fall through and did it reopen as a theater later?]
- Shakey’s Pizza and Dino’s Pizza must have had something good called Mojo Potatoes, based on the number of references I saw to them. Susan McClanahan ran a recipe for some that were supposed to be similar.
- Recent photos of the Broadway Theater