Andy's Frozen Custard Inc. is expanding in its home city of Springfield with a restaurant at the former site of National Art Shop.
The frozen custard chain is targeting a late second-quarter opening for a store at 509 S. National Ave., near Missouri State University, said CEO Andy Kuntz. The site's art shop closed earlier this year when the owners retired.
Kuntz said Ross Construction Group LLC would serve as general contractor for the 1,500- to 1,600-square-foot store designed by Kansas City-based Hufft Projects. The project will involve the demolition of the building that formerly housed National Art Shop, which first opened in 1970 and began operating at the corner of National and Elm Street in 1986.
"We embrace the fact that National Art Shop has been there. We're working on some ideas that would bring some of that to Andy's," Kuntz said, noting a marker of some kind may be installed to pay homage to the art shop. "We realize it's pretty special."
For Andy's Frozen Custard, the National Avenue corridor near MSU has long been eyed by Kuntz and team, he said.
"We feel like this is a great location to connect to the midtown of Springfield, Missouri, and the university," Kuntz said.
Kuntz declined to disclose the estimated project cost and the property purchase price with National Art Shop's Jean and Jerry Sanders. Greene County recorder filings show the property changed hands Dec. 16. A deed of trust for the property between White Shirts LLC, a commercial property developer and lessor operated by Kuntz, and Great Southern Bank lists a note amount of $630,000.
R.B. Murray Co. President Ross Murray said he represented Kuntz in the transaction. The property was not on the market, Murray added.
Andy's Frozen Custard operates 105 stores, Kuntz said. Last year, Andy's opened its first store in the neighboring city of Republic, according to past reporting.
On Oct. 27, Convoy of Hope dedicated its new 250,000-square-foot distribution center and broke ground on its next project: a 200,000-square-foot headquarters and training center, which will be connected to the distribution center by a skywalk.