Cape’s Dew Drop Cafe

When I wrote about the Dew Drop Inn in Bloomsdale, I mentioned ones in nine other states. What I didn’t know until contacted by Jeffry Lynn Boswell Hawk was that Cape had its own Dew Drop at 111 North Main Street. She was kind enough to share some photos of her grandparents and the interior of the store. Here is her account:

MY GRANDPARENTS (Homer and Madge Boswell) OWNED A SMALL CAFE CALLED “DEW-DROP IN” IN THE LATE 40’S. It was located next door to The (OLD) First National Bank on Main Street. It was in the building that recently housed Brown Shoe Store (which has now moved out on Broadridge) in Cape.

As a little girl of about 3-4 years of age, I spent a lot of time with my grandparents in their cafe. The Tot & Teen Shop was a couple doors north next to Osterloh’s Book Store. I would run up there and see Miss Mercer, who would dress me in real cute little outfits and then tell me to “run back down and show your grandma how cute you look.” Of course, my grandparents couldn’t resist the outfits and I had many beautiful clothes as a little girl!

One day, I ran down the street in front of Hecht’s where a fire hydrant was sticking out between Hecht’s and the adjoining building. Curious, I stuck my hand in the hydrant to see what was in there and IT GOT STUCK on the swinging flap (like a Japanese finger lock). Anyway, the old night watchman, Sam Tucker, heard me hollering for my Grandma and helped me get out of the big trap and took me up to my Grandparents’ DEW-DROP IN and told them what happened. Everyone knew everyone on Main Street and they all watched out for each other. Those were some wonderful days!

Inside the Dew Drop Cafe

The Missourian had a business brief September 10, 1945: H.O. Boswell of Cape Girardeau has purchased the Dew Drop confectionery, 111 North Main Street, from Charles Barranco, who has operated the business on Main for 36 years. Mr. Barranco will retain the building.

Mr. and Mrs. Boswell will operate the business, and he said meals, as well as fountain service, will be featured. He and a son, Homer F. Boswell, for a year have operated the Plaza Cafe on Broadway, and Homer Boswell now has taken full charge of the Plaza. Mr. Barranco said he will retire from business, at least for the present.

8 Replies to “Cape’s Dew Drop Cafe”

  1. Great interior photograph. In my hometown of Baxter Springs, KS–on Route 66– the place like this that I remember was Milo Chew Drug Store. A lovely woman named Ruth Barnett (daughter-in-law of Mickey Mantle’s early coach, Barney Barnett) used to take me there sometimes on her coffee break when I was a kid. I had a Dr. Pepper made with syrup, and she would have a cup of coffee and it was always served with a tiny glass of ice water. The “Dew Drop Inns” are an important American landscape.

  2. I WAS THINKING OF THE OLD 1ST NATIONAL BANK BUILDING THE OTHER DAY AND WONDEERED IF ANYONE MIGHT HAVE A PICTURE OF IT. IT HAD SEVERAL STEPS THAT LED UP TO THE DOOR AND I CAN REMEMBER GOING THERE WITH MY PARENTS.

    1. I worked at the old 1st National Bank, probably 1966 – 1967, in the “proof department”. I too would love to see pictures from that era.

  3. My Dad always told me that he met my mom when she was a waitress at the Do Drop Inn in Cape…and WOW there she is! The lady or should I say girl second from the left is my mom of about 15 or 16 years old. I was lick that I was in Cape today so I could get me Dad to identify her, he could not remember the other people in the shot except for the Boswell’s and added that they were nice people and ran a great place.
    Thanks to all the stuff people save over the years that brightens someone’s day. My Dad and I have good lift from this picture.
    Thanks again!
    Terry

    1. That, Terry, my friend, is what makes doing this blog worthwhile. I wondered if anybody would be interested in this post. I guess you answered my question. Thanks to Jeffry for sharing her family history.

  4. Thanks Ken for this posting this story from Jeffry. Some of my first childhood memories of Cape in the mid 1940’s was going “down town” (up town was Broadway) with my mom and grandmother to shop on Saturdays. I’ve been in that “old First National Bank” many times; however, as a child my favorite place on Main Street was Woolworth’s Five and Dime Store. Getting a chocolate covered peanut cluster from their candy counter was the high light of the trip. I remember as a very small child how scared I was when I lost my mom in the store and how a very caring lady helped me find her. My older sister worked at the soda fountain there for a while when she was in high school. They had the best toasted cheese sandwiches in Cape or at least they were from my limited perspective at the time.

  5. My dad was a downtown merchant (Ross Young and Sons Men Clothing.) I too loved the 5 & Dime and the great grilled cheese sandwiches. I remember for a penny you could get your forturn from a big tall machine.

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