On my first pass down Broadway this trip, I had a “what’s missing” moment when I got across from Houck Stadium. Then it dawned on me. Dino’s Pizza was gone, replaced by grass.
I had written a post before I left in April saying that SEMO had bought the property and was going to turn it into a green space. They didn’t waste any time.
Better enjoy the green while you can. This sniffs like a parking lot waiting to happen.
Here’s what is missing
Here’s a last glance at Dino’s. You can see more Dino’s photos here.
On the way down Broadway, I spotted Dino’s Pizza and recalled seeing a story in The Missourian that the building had been bought by the university and was going to be torn down. The April 28, 2014, Business Notebook said asbestos abatement would begin in the next few weeks, and demolition of the building would start the week of May 19. The property will be seeded and become green space, the university told The Missourian.
Building badly damaged by fire
The Missourian reported on August 11, 2011, that Dino’s Pizza at 1034 Broadway was heavily damaged by an early morning fire on August 10. Investigators thought it was an electrical fire. Two cats were removed from the building, but they died of smoke inhalation.
The building was condemned by the city a month after the fire. The Missourian reported that Owner Kostas “Gus” Demopoulos said the building will be demolished, but as of right now, he intends to rebuild. According to the condemnation notice, he will have 30 days after Sept. 25 to either repair or demolish building.
As you can see, the 30 days managed to drag out almost three years.
Nicholas Demopoulos died Feb. 5, 2011
I never had a Dino’s pizza so far as I know. Our family always headed to Tony’s Pizza Palace across from the Rialto Theater.
What I didn’t know until I read his obit was that Nicholas Demopoulos, who took over ownership of Dino’s, had been a pizza cook at Tony’s when he and his family came to Cape Girardeau from Greece in 1969. He had quite an interesting life.
Click on the photos to make the disappearing Cape landmark larger.
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