Entries, New and Old, Reawaken Memories
By Mike Greife
When the Chick-fil-A® cow arrived on campus this fall, followed by the two Einstein Brothers®, it was official; the University of Central Missouri had entered a new era of food choices.
Chick-fil-A Express® joined Pizza Hut® Express, Burger King®, Garden Bistro™, Sub City™, and Taco Bell® in the Elliott Union Central Courte.
Next, a $3-million renovation by university food service provider Sodexo transformed Todd Dining Hall into their fifth nationwide, multi-restaurant venture, featuring the Flying Star Diner, Panino's Deli, Wild Mushroom, Bella Trattoria and Magellan's.
Then, Kirkpatrick Library entered UCM food history by opening an Einstein Bagels, becoming part of the largest bagel retail company in the U.S.
Some of the most prominent food franchises in the nation, these campus eateries continue a tradition that began generations ago.
Before such commercial food became popular on campus, the Warrensburg business community served students' appetites. Local restaurants such as Hart's Café, Lamb's Café, Wilson's Café, Tip Top Café, Peterson's Drive In, Conner's Café and the Corner Café catered to hungry students, often late at night.
Perhaps the most famous, and most often remembered, restaurant was Riggle's, located directly across from the campus on Maguire Street in the area once known as Buentetown. Later known as the Campus Inn, it served students for more than 30 years while others came and went along the same block of businesses. Although Buentetown, known to a later generation of students as the College Plaza, is gone, one building still stands. The old Buente grocery store, which for many years also was Ike Martin's music store, now houses Planet Sub.
One of the first franchised restaurants to arrive in Warrensburg was the Dog 'n Suds Drive In east of Maguire Street on Business Highway 50. A Pizza Hut® later was built at the same location, it now is the site of Walgreens. Sonic® appeared in Warrensburg in the 1960s, only to disappear for a decade or so during the 1980s. It reappeared in the same location, where it remains today, serving another generation of UCM students.
Before long, the Warrensburg business community grew to accommodate more of these restaurants. Commonly known as "drive-ins" because of the convenience of ordering from the car, they eventually became known as "fast food" restaurants because of the speed of service. Many of these franchise operations, such as Ku Ku and Mister S, are part of the local lore. Others, like McDonald's®, Burger King® and Wendy's® still compete with local
Pizza always has been popular, beginning with the Village Inn Pizza Parlor on South Maguire. Its location across from what once was the Campus Movie Theaters made it a popular place. Its location close to campus also made it popular for a variety of restaurants over the years.