Is McDonald’s Wimpy’s?

McDonald's 06-07-2016Road Warriorette Shari came down from St. Louis for a few days to see her mother and to attend a ceremony recognizing her late grandmother’s work on the Capaha Park Rose Garden.

While we were cruising town looking at all the changes, it dawned on me that I had never been in the McDonald’s on Broadway near Central High School. We wondered if McDonald’s was this generation’s version of our Wimpy’s Drive-In with teenage drivers making an endless loop of cars between the long-gone burger joint and Pfisters. (Click on the photos to make them larger.)

Lines, but no looping

McDonald's 06-07-2016There was a steady stream of cars pulling into the parking lot, but they usually just queued up at the drive-in window, picked up their orders and took off. There weren’t any cars full of teenagers checking out each other or sitting and talking. Maybe they were all on social media.

The first Broadway McDonald’s was built in 1967 by Jerry Davis, who owned several landmark Cape eateries. He and flight instructor Kenneth Krongos were killed when the small plane they were in crashed in bad weather in 2003.

You can read about Mr. Davis’ restaurants here.

My perfect record is intact. I still haven’t been inside the store. That’s not to knock the business; it’s just that there are too many other places I’d rather eat in the area.

Founder of Cape’s McDonald’s Killed in Crash

1967 Achievement - Cape Ricardos 47I 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

700 Block of BroadwayI 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

700 Block of Broadway 10-28-2009Optometrists Joe L. Mosley and James A. Drace have been replaced by a tattoo parlor.

Owner of landmark business dies in crash

Pfisters outdoorsWhen 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.