It’s a return to the Queen City for pizza buffet chain Cicis, which opened March 25 in the Battlefield Plaza development near the Campbell Avenue intersection. The eatery is located at 319 E. Battlefield Road, Ste. D, the same storefront occupied by former franchisees Dan Nations, of Bellaire, Texas, and Carla Nations, of Dallas, who were evicted by court order in May 2018. New franchisee James Martin and business partner Greg Costley operate Cicis franchises in Joplin and Rogers, Arkansas. Costley has eight additional franchises in Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas, Martin said. Martin said he and Costley signed a lease for undisclosed terms to occupy more than 6,000 square feet at Jared Commercial Real Estate LLC’s retail center along Battlefield Road. The space was fully renovated with a larger game room, Martin said, declining to disclose the business partners’ investment in the franchise. According to the company’s website, the average investment for a new Cicis franchise restaurant is $686,445 to $1.03 million.
Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily
Phone: (417) 886-9696
Branson Boardgame Cafe
It’s game on for Branson Boardgame Cafe, which opened March 19 at 103 S. Business Highway 65. The downtown Branson family-run operation offers about 650 board games, including Monopoly and other classics, as well as modern selections like The Resistance. Les Carpenter, who co-owns the venture with his wife Tammy, said he was looking for a unique first-time business opportunity after spending 34 years with the U.S. Postal Service. Carpenter said Branson Boardgame Cafe charges customers a $5 fee to play as many games as they want. Renovation work on the 1,900-square-foot space started in December, he said, with $40,000 spent in startup. The Helen Williams family owns the building, and the cafe is on a one-year lease with two one-year options for an undisclosed rate. The cafe also serves deli sandwiches, priced around $7.50, along with coffee drinks at $2-$4 and other snacks under $5.
Hours: 2-11 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 2 p.m.-midnight Friday, noon-midnight Saturday and 3-9 p.m. Sunday
Hamra Enterprises added to its portfolio 13 Panera Bread cafes in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee as the Springfield-based company completed its latest acquisition March 7. The company now owns 70 Panera restaurants across five states, equating to 3.3 percent of the 2,114 Panera Bread cafes nationwide. “The opportunity is certainly a significant acquisition for us and one with greater opportunity,” said Mike Hamra, president and CEO of Hamra Enterprises. The Panera restaurants were acquired for undisclosed terms from the Postle family, owners of Memphis, Tennessee-based Delta Dough. Hamra said the acquisition takes the company, which reached $300 million in 2018 revenue, into new markets, but there are no current plans to expand into other concepts. Hamra Enterprises now owns and operates a combined 170 Wendy’s, Panera Bread and Noodles & Co. restaurants, employing over 7,000 people in nine states, according to its website.
Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday
Phone: (800) 685-0385