Out with the old in with the new Dairy Queen Mr. J’s and the Barrel Head

Many of you who know what the old Wabash Curve is. Most will remember that for many years right next door to the Custom Building. There was a bar called Mr. J’s. I’m not sure of the history of the building or what it may have been in the past. As long as I’ve been in the Springfield, IL area it has been that bar. Well the Wabash Curve is gone of course and now so is Mr. J’s. The building was demolished several weeks ago. I just got some information that the old Dairy Queen on MacArthur blvd is finally meeting the wrecking ball. This location was an off and on Dairy Queen for many years. For a lot of those years the building just sat empty. Until someone thought it would be good to give DQ another try. The Prairie Farms Dairy next door has bought the building and they are wanting to use it for the parking of their big rigs. This definitely isn’t the best location now for such a business. A parking lot for semis along this road will only have it looking even more trashy than it does now. Not to mention the fact that before closing a good amount of money was spent on upgrading the look of this building. We now have a metal facade auto parts store where a beautiful brick building flower shop use to be. Lets not forget about all the pay day loan stores that have popped up in it that neighborhood as well. This area used to be fairly high class. Not everyone who lived near and around it had money. But you had nice stores and people took care of things. Unfortunately the years haven’t been kind to this part of town. Of course in many ways the tornadoes we experienced this year didn’t help matters. Although it has forced some business owners to update the look of their property. So in some ways mother nature has helped benefit the area.

Many businesses along Wabash are still in recovery mode. While many have been back open for sometime. Others are just now get reopened or just now beginning the process of rebuilding. Two locations that are rebuilding are The Barrel Head and The Wabash Junction Circle. Both have started the process of rebuilding. Wabash Junction has a good portion of the walls up on their new building. The Barrel Head’s new foundation has been laid and the walls are being put up. So not everything along this corridor is decaying or being torn down. You can always tell rather easily the property owners that care about their neighborhood and those who don’t. Steak n Shake is in the process of erecting a new building. While the old Wendy’s right down the street from it ( Steak n Shake ) still sits waiting for something to be done. The owners never really took care of Wendy to well anyway. Every time she got blown a hole in. Whoever owned the store never felt the need to replace her head in the signage. I’m more than aware that over time things change. It just seems that sometimes this change isn’t always for the better. In some cases the natural disaster this area experienced has given property owners the chance to start fresh and new. I think this is part of the positive change. Yet in other areas of this part of town it seems like the property owners gave up long ago.

Please keep in mind the following. This is just my opinion. I’ve not included all the businesses along this corridor that have rebuilt, remodeled or that have called it quits. Most businesses have in fact chosen to stay open. It’s been business as usual for most of them for some time now. The hotels located in Parkway Pointe area are still fenced off. It looks as if they are being worked on. It has been reported that they are to reopen sometime in the future. Gordmans has made repairs and should be opening again soon. Either way this is not an all inclusive list. I’ve not been on other sides of town that saw damage. So I can’t report on any progress or lack of that has been made in those locations.

Dairy Queen MacArthur blvd August 2006 – Iggy Uncensored

The Barrel Head a new beginning – Iggy Uncensored

Springfield IL region hit by tornado(s) – Iggy Uncensored

After the tornadoes comes the snow – Iggy Uncensored

When things go bump in the night – Iggy Uncensored

What Wabash Junction Circle looked like after the storm.

My current desktop – Iggy Uncensored

State Journal Register forgets local blogs during storm – Iggy Uncensored

Several hotels that sustained damage – Iggy Uncensored

The Barrel Head this St. Patrick’s Day – Iggy Uncensored

Wabash Avenue reopens – Iggy Uncensored

Search results for tornado Iggy Uncensored

Springfield Rewind

Look Back Springfield

You’ll find some good pictures of what the Dairy Queen building looked like before it met it’s demise at the link below.

jeromeprophet Dairy Queen On South Macarthur

jeromeprophet Jerome Illinois’ Barrel Head Is Demolished


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