Work is under way to renovate the former Anton's restaurant building on Glenstone Avenue. Casper's expects to move in next month. (Steve Pokin photo)

If you’ve been craving Casper’s chili, the end of your wait should be mid-November.

Shawn Kraft, the main owner of the iconic Springfield restaurant, said Oct. 4 that the renovation of the former Anton’s restaurant, 937 S. Glenstone, should be finished by then.

That’s when Casper’s will resume operation at its new, slightly bigger location.

“I grew up in Anton’s as a child,” Kraft said. “That was always my favorite breakfast place. And I’m going to be offering an Anton’s-style breakfast.”

But the main offering will still be chili. Or perhaps a combination, he said.

“Eggs Anton smothered in Casper’s chili,” he mused.

Casper’s will have drive-thru service

Kraft is adding a drive-thru to the building. Work was being done Tuesday morning.

Ironically, when Anton Tasich opened his business at the spot on April Fools Day 1974, he removed the drive-thru. The place had been an ice cream shop that also sold hamburgers.

Casper’s had operated 37 years in a tiny “Quonset Hut,” which is a prefabricated steel structure, at 601 West Walnut St.

Casper’s left this building back in June and should re-open on Glenstone next month. (Steve Pokin photo)

Kraft has owned Casper’s eight years. His current business partners in Casper’s are Angel Kim and Thomas Orf.

Kraft moved out of the hut in June because he had outgrown the tiny location and wanted that drive-thru. He also said there were too many maintenance issues.

In June, a “Casper’s Coming Soon” banner went up on the former Anton’s building.

Casper’s had opened elsewhere in Springfield back in 1909.


‘Go! Go! Go! Get it!’

Anton’s had closed in March 2020, two months after owner Anton Tasich died in January of that year at age 88.

Kraft said Tasich would talk to him about the possibility of someday owning the breakfast business.

Immediately after Anton’s closed, the surrounding parking lot was used as a car-sales lot.

Once the cars vanished, Kraft said, he told his real estate agent he wanted the building.

“I told him, ‘Go! Go! Go! Get it!'”

Kraft also owns Nonna’s Italian Cafe, 306 South Ave. He spends part of the year in Italy, where he has a business providing tours of the Amalfi Coast and Naples.

Steve Pokin

Steve Pokin writes the Pokin Around and The Answer Man columns for the Springfield Daily Citizen. He also writes about criminal justice issues. He can be reached at His office line is 417-837-3661. More by Steve Pokin