Answer Man: The Springfield Inn at Kearney and Glenstone was torn down. Those of us on the northside were told it was going to be a Whataburger but now I saw a news story that says only one Whataburger is coming to Springfield and it’s going to be on West Sunshine. Can you find out what is going in at Kearney and Glenstone? — Jean Ackley, of Springfield
Yes, Jean, a Whataburger is going in at Glenstone and Kearney. This is in addition to the one on Sunshine.
The developer, Brad Thessing, told me that on Thursday.
He said the parcel, which is 2.6 acres, has room for another tenant or two, in addition to Whataburger. The other tenants are not yet known.
In addition, as further evidence, Whataburger has filed several building permits with the city for the site, which currently is vacant.
Kim Kannarr, regional spokesman for Whataburger, did not confirm that a Whataburger was going at Kearney and Glenstone, but came close.
“We have no official statement right now,” she tells me. “We have several more that will be coming in 2023.”
Coming to Springfield?
This is one of several new Whataburger sites coming to town.
Other sites planned
Tinsley Merriman is one of two Missouri State University interns reporting for us here at the Springfield Daily Citizen this summer. We also have a recent MSU grad working as a temporary employee. Our cup runneth over with young talent.
Tinsley wrote a June 9 piece stating that Whataburger, based in San Antonio and founded in 1950, would open three new restaurants in the Ozarks later this year.
- 3880 W. Sunshine St., Springfield
- 1355 US Hwy 60 E, Republic
- 1851 Marler Lane, Ozark
I visited the location on West Sunshine Thursday and work is underway. It is west of the West Bypass, on McCurry Street, just west of the Walmart Supercenter.
Construction Superintendent John Piowarcyck says that if all goes well he expects the building to be finished in September. The contractor is Knoebel Construction in Chesterfield.
The mystery site
In addition to the site at Kearney and Glenstone (2337 N. Glenstone Ave.), there is another site in Springfield for which Whataburger has taken out building permits from the city.
This address — as listed on the building permits — is at 1679 E. Battlefield Road.
When I checked records with the Greene County Assessor’s Office there is no such address.
If there were an actual address, it would be somewhere on the north side of Battlefield Road — but in the Battlefield Mall parking lot.
(The address for the mall is different; it’s 2825 S. Glenstone Ave.)
Puzzled, I drove there Thursday only to find what I expected to find: a large, steaming expanse of parking-lot asphalt.
Kannarr did not explain the address.
These are not the first Whataburgers in Springfield
Despite what you might have thought, these will not be the first Whataburgers in Springfield.
In May of 2018 while at the Springfield News-Leader, I wrote a two-part profile of David Leong, who created the dish cashew chicken and who served in the U.S. Army and was part of the D-Day invasion at Normandy Beach on June 6, 1944.
(Leong died at 99 in 2020.)
In that profile, I mentioned that Leong’s oldest son Wing Cheong owned several Whataburgers in Springfield in the 1970s.
For this column, I did a newspaper search and found an advertisement for those Whataburgers in the Dec. 13, 1974, edition of the paper. They were at:
- 410 W. Kearney St.
- 500 S. Glenstone Ave.
- 2518 College St.
- 2208 S.Campbell Ave.
- 1400 E. Sunshine St.
Wing Cheong and his father became estranged, in large part over the son’s large gambling debts in Las Vegas.
Wing Cheong died of natural causes in Las Vegas in 2010 at age 69.
This is Answer Man column No. 13.