Wally Kennedy: Big Biscuit opening now slated after first of year

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Nov. 17—When The Big Biscuit said in April that it was coming to Joplin, the plan was for the breakfast and lunch restaurant to be open by now.

That's not going to happen just yet. Apparently the redo of the former Panera Bread restaurant at 2401 E. 32nd St. has become a bigger project than The Big Biscuit anticipated. The opening that would have taken place in late August or early September will now take place in late January or early February, according to a worker at the construction site.

The Big Biscuit will have a totally new layout when compared with the former Panera Bread. This is a major makeover.

The Big Biscuit, headquartered in Prairie Village, Kansas, was launched in 2000, offering guests generous portions of freshly prepared and familiar comfort food. Menu items include biscuits and gravy, pancakes, omelets, French toast and eggs Benedict, 24-hour brined and hand-breaded chicken dishes, half-pound burgers, salads and a line of iced coffees.

The Big Biscuit has 24 locations in Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma, and plans to expand into Northwest Arkansas this year.

Panera Bread relocated in March to a new $1.4 million standalone restaurant at 2101 S. Range Line Road, the former site of Pizza by Stout.

Also of note, the Better Living Store that was in the shopping center next door to Panera Bread relocated in August to the Lighting & Lock store at 1602 E. 32nd St. It is now the Better Living Store-Lighting & Lock. This is the former Midway Hardware and Lumber Co.

New tea shop

Boba Teaz has opened in the former food court spot that was occupied for years by Dairy Queen and Orange Julius at Northpark Mall.

The shop offers authentic Taiwanese boba tea, Japanese mochi doughnuts, Vietnamese iced drinks, slushies and smoothies, and shaved ice cream. The doughnuts and teas are freshly made on a daily basis.

Make sure to check out the doughnuts. I ordered one with green icing simply because I had never had a doughnut before with green icing. Sprinkled with powdered sugar, it was yummy.

Mochi doughnuts, also known at poi mochi, are a cross between traditional American doughnuts and Japanese mochi. They first appeared as a fusion pastry in Hawaii in the early 1990s. Mochi are shaped into eight balls that are connected to make a doughnut that is easy to pull apart. Rice or tapioca flour is used.

Bargain shop opens

The Binshop'n Boutique and Gifts recently opened in the north end of Northpark Mall, and apparently a second one has opened.

One of the shops offers returned items in bins for $3.99 each while the other offers items for $1.99 each.

Both stores offer brand-name merchandise, including luggage, housewares, small appliances and lamps, that have been discounted.

Bin stores have been on the rise nationally, receiving returned items or overstock from Target, Amazon and other retailers.

Shop to close

Pro Image Sports in the north end of Northpark Mall has announced a total inventory liquidation.

A store spokesman said the storefront, which specializes in sports gear representing every NFL and MLB team, is starting with a 40% off sale.

The discounts will grow as the store approaches a closing date, which has not been announced yet. The store has existed at its current location in the mall for seven years. There are about 100 Pro Image Sports shops around the country.

Santa arrives

Santa Claus will make his grand arrival at Northpark Mall at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 22.

Santa will be available at his workshop in the J.C. Penney court at the mall until Dec. 24. Hours will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4 to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and from noon to 3 p.m. and 3:30 to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Visits are free. Photo packages are available for purchase.

Pet photos are available all day on Mondays.

Contact Wally Kennedy at wkennedy@joplinglobe.com.