Brother Mark was down in Cape for Mother’s Day. He’s got an advantage when it comes to jockeying for a favorable position in the will. He’s 125 miles away from Mother; I’m 1,100 miles away.
He jingled the keys and mother hopped in the car to go exploring. Mark stopped long enough to shoot these pictures of the 200 and 300 blocks of Broadway. The city’s embarked on what is either a very good or a very bad idea. They are enlarging the sidewalks on the north side of the street to make the area more attractive to pedestrians (at the expense of parking on that side). Here was the Broadway end-to-end piece I did recently, by the way.
Narrow lanes worry me
We had a West Palm Beach mayor (thankfully, gone) who went on a traffic-calming binge. There were a number of streets that were wide enough that a car could pass my bike without having to cross the centerline while still giving me the legal three feet of clearance. He started choking the lanes with traffic furniture where he didn’t narrow them and added speed humps willy-nilly. By doing that, he made it impossible for a car to pass without going over the centerline, which irritated folks if there was oncoming traffic.
So, if you see me cranking my way up the Broadway hill, just know that I’m going as fast as I can and that it wasn’t MY idea to make the lanes smaller. Oh, and the sidewalk isn’t an option. Bikes don’t belong on sidewalks.
It IS pretty, though.
Brother Mark’s photo gallery
Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side of the image to move through the gallery. I don’t know why he’s being so nice to me. There’s nothing to put in the will, it’s past his birthday and Christmas is a long time off.
Missourian Librarian Sharon Sanders runs an interesting blog on Thursdays called “From the Morgue.” Back in the less PC Good Old Days, that what we called the repository of yellowing clips carefully snipped out by the custodian of the newspaper’s history. Folks like Sharon and her predecessor, Judy Crow, really DO know where the bodies are buried and can find the skeletons in closets going back generations. You do NOT want to get on the wrong side of the newspaper librarian. They used to possess both sharp tongues and sharp scissors.
I’m not sure what Digital Sharon could do to a reporter who didn’t bring back a much-handled envelope of old clips, but I bet it wouldn’t be pretty. On one of our first meetings, I started to raise my camera to take her picture. I don’t normally take no for an answer – I’ve shot Popes and Presidents, rioters and guys with guns – but I put my camera down when she shook her head. I knew right away that she wasn’t somebody to mess with.
I felt fortunate to escape with my life and a photo of a stack of aging clips.
I don’t have any photos going back that far, but I do have the area today.
This aerial from November 2010 shows a number of landmarks. The red building is the Last Call she mentions. The white building diagonally across the street is the infamous 633 – 635 – 637 Broadway trio of buildings that have been a source of controversy for a long time. One building was razed and the other two are being renovated. In the center of the picture is Trinity Lutheran Church. The brick building to its left is Shivelbines Music and the white building across the street is Annie Laurie’s Antiques.
It’s hard to miss the Last Call if you’re eastbound on Broadway. Its red colors are set off by a blue sky.
Blue-sided building is gone
The blue-sided building with the iconic mural at the top center of the aerial and the ones next to it were torn down at the end of 2011. Walther’s Furniture, across the street, has turned into Discovery Playhouse.
Like a gap in a first-grader’s grin
The northwest corner of Broadway and Sprigg has another empty spot. That’s where the old Chris Cross Cafe used to be. This view is south on Sprigg toward Broadway somewhere around 1966 or 1967. The three-story building on the south side of Broadway was the Cape Hotel. It burned and the spot is occupied by a Subway today.
A reader was asking me about 818 Broadway. It’s been a whole lot of things, but it’ll always be Beard’s Sport Shop to me. When I photographed it in 2009, the sign on the front of building said Grace Cafe, but I think it had already closed its doors. I used to go to Grace Cafe when it was located in the old Vandeven’s Mercantile building at Pacific and Broadway because they had a fast internet connection.
I never noticed how ornate the trim was on the building until I looked at these photos. I thought that it might have been added recently, but Fred Lynch had a Frony photo of Beard’s and Wayne’s Grill that shows it clearly in 1961.
When Friend Shari and I shot the interior of the Broadway Theater in December, we retreated across the street for some coffee to thaw out. I couldn’t remember the name of the place, but a Missourian business column on April 18, 2011, said “Calix Coffee opened at 818 Broadway, at the former Grace Cafe location in Cape Girardeau. Owner Andrew Whaley, Jackson, previously worked at Grace Cafe as a barista. The shop sells coffee and fresh baked pastries, and Whaley hopes to add sandwiches and salads in the future.”
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.
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.