Welcome to Cape. Now, Leave.

Editorial written by Christopher Morrill on Saturday, April 1, 2000

from the finally-some-entertainment-in-this-town dept.

The hubbub over the granting of a liquor license to a new restaurant/bar about to open in Cape is quite amusing.

The restaurant in question is Show-Me's, which will be opening at 1751 Independence St. Apparently there has been a great deal of weeping and gnashing of teeth over this, since Show-Me's will be opening up smack-dab across from a day-care center. They share the same parking lot, even.

Well, this is Cape Girardeau. So you know what happens next. Angry parents and local politicians immediately cry foul, profoundly disturbed that their children may subjected to being within shouting distance of a... bar! The local conservative political scheme guaranteed such a backlash. It's always amusing around here to see the holier-than-though factions raise their hackles when something new tries to move in.

Missouri statutes apparently prohibit the granting of any liquor license within 200 feet of a school or church. They managed to leave out "day-care centers" from the wording, so Show-Me's liquor license is perfectly legitimate.

Or is it?

It didn't take any time at all for State Representative David Schwab (R-Jackson) to put himself in front of a microphone on KFVS and vow to sponsor a bill to add "day-care centers" to the statutes along with schools and churches, so our children cannot be exposed to...

...chicken wings and T&A.

I suspect that there may be more than meets the eye to this particular piece of legislation.

Keep in mind, this is Cape Girardeau, the city that repeatedly caved to the religious right and voted down riverboat casino gambling, all the while conveniently ignoring thriving bingo halls. This forced the riverboat magnates to focus on greener pastures in Scott City. ("Greener pastures in Scott City" is an oxymoron, of course. But amusing nonetheless.)

This is Cape Girardeau, who fought (and still fights) tooth and nail against it's only "nudie bar", trying to run them out of business by forcing them to accept ludicrous restrictions. (Not just pasties, either, in case you're wondering.)

This is Cape Girardeau, the hometown of Rush Limbaugh, and it lives up to that reputation time and time again.

I suspect that the whole brouhaha is really a matter of T&A.

See, Show-Me's doesn't just serve chicken wings and beer and overpriced bar food. They have a few locations already operating in the St. Louis area, and I have been to those on a number of occasions, so I speak from experience.

No, see, the reason you're paying seven bucks for that chicken sandwich is because Show-Me's also serves nice scenery. And I'm not talking about scenic mountain vistas. Unless you are prone to exaggeration.

Show-Me's is quite similar to Hooter's, in that it's main attraction isn't the food... it's the waitresses. Show-Me's hires extremely nice looking young ladies, dresses them in very short shorts, tight t-shirts, and you ogle at them. It's that simple.

They do not strip, and they are not prostitutes. They are... "minimally dressed food servers."

Don't be fooled. In a place like Cape, even if Show-Me's were located in the middle of a corn field a mile from the nearest gravel county road, there would still be complaints. That home of the great unwashed, "Speak Out", would be up in arms over it no matter where it was located. It is, after all, just the way things are done around here.

Surely it drives the feminists out of their minds, but it's true. Guys come to Show-Me's to gape and drool at the waitresses. Guys are good like that. Show-Me's chicken wings are quite good, for the record (the hotter the better), and it's a good place to watch a football game and behave like an...errr...guy.

But I suspect with the local politicos, it's really all about T&A.

If you really must ask what T&A means, then you need to hit "Back" on your web browser. If you need to ask what "pasties" are... well... hell, get out of the house now and then. Regina's House of Dolls can explain it to you quite nicely, but just not too close. You may be arrested if you step within six feet of the ladies there.

Although I am Libertarian, I do not argue with zoning laws. It's a matter of common sense to have business districts and residential districts. These things tend to take care of themselves sometimes anyway, thanks to the All-American Tradition of "moving". No one wants a dynamite factory next to a hospital. Even a Libertarian does not ignore the concept of "endangerment".

However, zoning laws are often used for political ends, to force out an "undesirable" business from opening up, or continuing.

I think what's really going on here is that people offended by this bar opening up across from a day-care center are really more concerned about the fact that is has scantily clad, big-breasted young women as waitresses. "Scandalous", they will say. "We just can't have that in Cape!"

Last time I checked, the waitresses worked their of their own free will. The customers tip well. There's the usual barroom tomfoolery now and then, but nothing worse than what happens at your local high school on any given day. And no one wants to ban high schools.

So welcome Show-Me's to the neighborhood, and try to be tolerant. They are not, despite what local parents and politicians may be thinking, marketing to the pre-school audience.

Show-Me's was perfectly within Missouri and local laws when their liquor license was granted. Mr. Schwab knows this, as does the city of Cape Girardeau. I'm sure this fine new addition to Cape Girardeau's narrow cultural cornucopia will open on schedule.

However, I will issue a word of warning to Show-Me's: Don't get too comfortable with where you're at. In fact, I hope you're renting. Representative Schwab will get his bill passed and signed into law, and your liquor license will not be renewed at your current location.

Welcome to Cape. And save me some hot wings. Really hot.