Dec. 17—Every once in a while, something happens on Range Line Road or Main Street that really takes me by surprise. Here's an example of that.
A new restaurant, Miner's Bar & Grill, opened Friday in the former Los Lunas Mexican Restaurant in Iqra Plaza, 2705 S. Range Line Road. This shopping center is located across from Lowe's.
The surprise: This restaurant has been in the works for a year. I was unaware that it was coming until last week.
The restaurant is owned by Louis Stutman and Ricardo Ramirez. Stutman was the general manager at Applebee's in Joplin. Ramirez was the kitchen manager at Applebee's. They decided to join forces and go into business for themselves instead of working for someone else.
The new owners have been toiling behind the scenes for a year to get their restaurant ready for the opening.
Stutman, who has 24 years of experience in the restaurant business including a stint as room chef at Downstream Casino, told me the restaurant was a mess when they signed the lease a year ago. The restaurant's dining area has been updated with new paint, tables and chairs, and furnishings. It's like they are opening a new restaurant.
What's deceptive about this restaurant is its size. It's much larger inside than you might think. It seats up to 180 people. It has lots of space if you are concerned about social distancing.
The restaurant will offer casual family dining. The menu will feature steaks, short ribs, sandwiches and salads, and several appetizers. The restaurant will have a full bar, but it will not be fully operational when the restaurant opens. Cooks are still needed. You can apply at the restaurant.
Stutman told me the restaurant's name reflects Joplin's history of lead and zinc mining.
Hours will be from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Los Lunas Mexican Restaurant opened in early 2016 and closed in 2020.
Repair shop opens
Caliber Collision has opened its new auto repair service center at 2702 S. Range Line Road.
An estimator for the company gave me a tour of the climate-controlled facility last Wednesday. It features state-of-the-art technology for automotive repair.
Services offered include free estimates, insurance company assistance, automotive glass replacement, detailing and paintless dent repair.
If you are interested in an automotive repair job, some positions are still open. You can apply in person at the center.
Caliber Collision, founded in 1997, employs about 20,000 people in approximately 1,400 centers across 39 states.
Hours will be from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The former office building of Allgeier, Martin & Associates, which was vacant for some time, was demolished to make way for this service center.
Healthy Massage has opened in Suite 19 of Chase Colton Plaza, 420 N. Range Line Road.
The storefront specializes in full-body massages, foot massage, and hot stone and acupressure treatments.
Walk-ins are welcome. Appointments can be arranged by calling 417-691-6020.
Hours are from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.
Casa Montez opens
Fortunately for me, I was one of the lucky few to be honored with an invitation to last Sunday's soft opening for the new Casa Montez, 4224 S. Main St. I feel lucky because I doubt the crowds that have stormed the place since its reopening on Tuesday will diminish anytime soon.
It could be weeks before things settle down.
The food, the cheese dip and the guacamole were exactly as I remembered them. I have received emails from people who have said the same thing. When you think about it from a culinary standpoint, that's quite an achievement.
Contact Wally Kennedy at firstname.lastname@example.org.