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A little hope for a prominent spot

The Examiner

UPDATE: The website of Andy's Frozen Custard shows "coming soon," without details, for the former Chuck E. Cheese site at 4029 S. Noland Road.

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A friend used to say QuikTrip had the simplest, most effective business plan ever: cheap gas, decent coffee, and the rest is secondary.

Jeff Fox

That’s not far off, and were I QuikTrip I’d take it as a compliment. 

I’ll throw in one more thing. QuikTrips are busy, but they keep the litter under control, they keep the grass watered and mowed, and they replace the burned-out lightbulbs. That attention to appearances makes a difference in a neighborhood.

The neighborhood I’m thinking of is Interstate 70 and Noland Road in Independence. How can a prime intersection on a busy freeway have so many issues: a long dead Chuck E. Cheese in front of a more recently dead Kmart. A Best Western hotel with such crime problems that the city shut it down. (A new owner is working on that.)

The southeast corner is doing better because the city took the initiative to get rid of another troubled motel a few years ago, and in its place have come Panda Express and Jack in the Box – normally nothing to write home about but a big improvement from what was there before. 

Now the Sheridan’s Custard across the street from QuikTrip – the Sheridan’s with a sign in the drive-through window most of this year promising a renovation and reopening – is being converted to a Hawaiian Bros. restaurant set to open next March. Huli huli chicken and luau pig sound pretty good, so here’s hoping it does well.

It was QuikTrip that a couple years ago pushed over its old building at Noland and Lynn Court, bought the space next door and went to something bigger and brighter. That’s no small investment. Same for Five Guys, Panda Express and Jack in the Box, all relatively new.

Still, with all of the hand-wringing about Noland Road through the years, you’d think the prime corner at the interstate would perform a little better.

Jeff Fox is The Examiner’s editor. Reach him at jeff.fox@examiner.net or on Twitter at @FoxEJC.