Cape Girardeau business owner continues effort to preserve a piece of city history

New business to help preserve piece of Cape Girardeau history
Published: May. 2, 2022 at 10:30 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - A local business owner has had some setbacks in her efforts to preserve Cape Girardeau’s history. However, she’s not letting that stop her.

Suzanne Hightower’s dream was to save the Broadway Theatre.

That all went up in flames after it caught fire a year ago.

However, she found a new way to keep cape’s history alive.

Serving a fresh cup of coffee at Speakeasy Coffee Co. is part of Suzanne Hightower’s latest adventure to preserve Cape Girardeau’s past.

“There was a speakeasy in the basement at one time. It’s based on the history of the building,” Hightower said.

However, this new shop was not her original plan.

“There’s a lot of history we could preserve and provide a beautiful theatre,” Hightower said.

She wanted to save the Cape Broadway Theatre. However, Hightower’s dream of bringing this theatre were ruined by fire.

“Well, I cried, yeah, I did. I was sad,” Hightower said.

City leaders said the building is no longer safe.

“You’ve seen it. It’s not a safe situation presently,” Molly Mehner, Deputy City Manager said.

Mehner said it could take weeks if not months to get the whole building down.

“It’s unfortunate we didn’t have that opportunity with Broadway sooner. It’s in the state that it’s in, we’d love to get the sidewalk open and remove that threat,” Mehner said.

Although Hightower’s plans for the theatre to make a comeback did not work, she said she hopes to continue passing along Cape’s history with her new business.

“The more arts and theatre that you bring into the community the more likely you are going to attract people,” Hightower said.

Hightower said she hopes to add entertainment opportunities and music performance inside of the Speakeasy Coffee Co.

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