SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– When it comes to the Heritage Cafeteria, a lot of people have fond memories and can recall their favorites from the menu.  

“My mom used to bring me up here when I was four or five,” explained Jordan Scott, Fruit Expert at Edible Arrangements (a business located in Fremont Center near the former Heritage site). I always got mac and cheese.  Even to this day I always eat mac and cheese and it reminds me so much of the cafe,” she said.  

“We would go in with my parents a lot and eat over there,” said Jason Mohler, owner of CPR Cell Phone Repair. “They always like the fish, so spent a little bit of time over there.” 

While the place closed back in 2016, its demolition is a sad sight for generations of Springfield residents. After sitting vacant for five years, it took crews just days to tear it down.

Scott explained, “We would eat in the Heritage cafe with my grandma all the time. So, seeing it get torn down kind of hurt my soul a little bit.”

There used to be a chain of these cafeterias around Springfield. Their heyday was in the 1980s and 90s. Eventually, they closed one by one as consumer’s dining-out habits changed. The S. Glenstone Ave. location is now a Dollar Tree. The W. Sunshine building has become a call center. Now, what comes next for the E. Battlefield site will be the biggest change of them all.

Mohler said, “I think with a new building like that, a lot of people will notice that and it will probably attract more attention to the shopping center as well.”

Coryell Collaborative Group is building a mixed-use development, which will include retail space on the first floor and four stories of luxury apartments above.

Mohler said, “I was surprised about it being apartments.  But, I think with retail and having something new- a fresh new look- I think it will be a big advantage for us.”

Neighboring businesses are looking back with fondness and forward with excitement.

I think it will drive more traffic because something new always interests people and gets their attention. So, I think that would be a huge plus,” Mohler said.  

Scott said, “I think it’s a bigger and better thing for Springfield…I think it will be great.”