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A Closer Look: May 1985

Chinese Delicacies

Chinese Delicacies, which was opened in 1980 by David Chou, moved to 47 E. Broadway in June of 1985. The restaurant started as a simple takeout-style Chinese restaurant but later turned into a dine-in location called Chou’s Buffet. It featured more than 30 daily luncheon specials and 80 varieties of dinner entrées. Its full menu was available for carryout. Chou’s restaurant is no longer operational. Following his retirement, his son Sam Chou changed the restaurant into Grindstone Brew Pub in 2003. David Chou died in 2005.


Oscar Mayer

An Oscar Mayer plant opened at 4600 Waco Road in Columbia in 1985. When the hot-dog plant first opened, it was the smallest of Oscar Mayer’s 18 plants and employed about 150 people. But this plant was the first Oscar Mayer plant to operate 24/7 and focus solely on the production of hot dogs. It made hot dogs to be sold under the Oscar Mayer and Louis Rich labels, the Columbia Missourian reported in 1985. The plant is still open today, and it is owned and operated by Kraft Foods.


Osco Drug

A new pharmacy took over for Skaggs Thrifty City at the 111 S. Providence Road location in Columbia. Osco Drug Inc., a line of in-store pharmacies, opened its doors in Columbia in September of 1985. Osco Drug filled prescriptions for shoppers and offered vitamins and medicines, among other items. It was known for its inexpensive vitamins. The drugstore went out of business in 2004 and remained vacant for nearly 10 years. It is now a Lucky’s Farmers Market.


Midway Arena

After months of negotiations, the Boone County Commission approved plans to open Midway Arena. In June, a proposal to build the 29-acre arena was opposed by neighbors. The plan was to build an arena and building for exhibitions, animal shows and a flea market. In July, the Boone County Planning and Zoning Commission voted in approval of the arena, and the owner agreed not to have car and motorcycle racing. The Midway Travel Center is still in business. It owns an antique mall, an exposition center, a restaurant, a lounge, a store and a Budget Inn. It also has a sandbar, hayrides and storage rentals.


Fire Station No. 7

The Columbia Fire Department’s Station No. 7 was made official on May 19, 1985. The station had been operational since December of 1983, but the dedication was delayed until landscaping was complete, the Columbia Missourian reported. Located at 3601 S. Providence Road, the station housed a company of three men who responded to about 300 emergencies per year. Due to Fire Station No. 7’s aging condition, voters approved a plan to open a new one at 400 Green Meadows Circle. Construction for this new fire station began in 2008.


MKT Trail

Norfolk and Western, a division of Norfolk Southern, said in September of 1984 that it planned to abandon the MKT Railroad because it wasn’t profitable, possibly by the end of 1985. By September of 1985, the city was the only remaining option to buy the railroad, as private investors were not interested. On Sept. 31, 1985, the Columbia City Council announced its support for the purchase of the railroad line. The railroad was converted to a trail in a rail-to-trail transition. The MKT Trail is currently the longest developed rail trail in the country.



Bonfoey’s Upstairs Downstairs was a restaurant in Columbia located at 27 S. 10th St. It opened in 1895. Bonfoey’s had more than 200 items on its menu, including a variety of salads, seafood, steaks, pastas, crepes and sandwiches. The restaurant was best known for its applesauce steaks and orange rolls. It also played host to banquets with seating room available for up to 200 people. Bonfoey’s Upstairs Downstairs is no longer open in Columbia.

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Steve Moeller of Lone Cottonwood Farms at his spot at the Columbia Farmers marker. Photo courtesy of Columbia Farmers Market