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Ernie Biggs owner puts building up for sale

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The owner of Ernie Biggs Dueling Piano Bar placed the downtown building housing the venue up for sale.

Through SVN Rankin Co. LLC, owner Jay Hickman is seeking $740,000 for the 5,620-square-foot property, 312 South Ave. Hickman owns the building through E.B. Building II LLC, according to Greene County assessor and Missouri secretary of state records.

Reached by email, Hickman said, “We are just testing the market and (Ernie Biggs) will remain open at this point.” Hickman also is a commercial insurance consultant at Connell Insurance Inc.

Hickman launched the live piano bar in 2003 with Daniel Bryant, Matt Christie and father-and-son Jim and Jody Thornton, according to Springfield Business Journal archives. The opening followed the launch of Ernie Biggs in Little Rock that same year. Ernie Biggs’ website continues to list its bars in Springfield and Little Rock. A location at the Branson Landing closed, and Ernie Biggs also previously had a venture in Kansas City, according to SBJ archives.

The SVN Rankin Co. listing by agent Lee McLean also offers the South Avenue space for lease at $10.75 per square foot annually. At that rate, lease payments would total $60,415 per year.

Separately, Hickman also is seeking the sale of another downtown building at 301 Park Central East via E.B. Building I LLC. A listing through SVN Rankin Co. has a sale price of $765,000 and lease rate of $10 per square foot for the 6,513-square-foot building.

Vintage nightclub currently operates in the building.

“The ownership is just exploring options moving forward with the properties. The businesses will remain open for the time being,” SVN Rankin Co.’s McLean said via email.


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