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9 Dining Options while staying in Van Buren, MO

Van Buren has a variety of dining options to compliment your stay at Elk Pointe Cabin. From upscale to casual to cooking at the cabin, here’s some insider information from the cabin owners on where to get some grub during your vacation in the Ozarks:

1. Jolly Cone 

Jolly Cone is an iconic Van Buren landmark that has been serving ice cream and burgers since 1947. Their soft serve ice cream and sundaes are our favorite, but they have burgers and other fried food favorites. Order by walking up to the window, then you’ll get your food in a paper sack to eat at a picnic table or you can take somewhere else to picnic. A close picnic option is river front park. 

2. Las Margaritas 

This Mexican restaurant is a local favorite and is conveniently located across from old courthouse. Good food, fast service and cool decor makes for a great meal out. They offer indoor dining, take out or outdoor dining on the back patio. Fresh chips, homemade salsa and a margarita are perfect after a day on the river. 

3. The Landing 

The Landing is the most upscale dining option in Van Buren. They offer steaks, pasta, burgers, sandwiches and salads and have a full bar selection. Their “Coleman’s Failure” is a a topping/filling that’s worth the try.  They offer both indoor and outdoor dining, with the patio overlooking the Current River. Service and atmosphere are excellent! 

4. Red Beard’s 

Red Beards is a locally owned restaurant that specializes in Cajun dishes and seafood. Our favorite are the fried oysters and any kind of Poor Boy sandwich, especially the shrimp. They also have steaks and burgers. They have a full bar so if you are wanting an alcoholic beverage with casual atmosphere, it’s a good option. It’s a popular spot with locals and tourists, so plan to spend some time getting a table and waiting for your meal. They have indoor dining or carry out. 

5. Smalley’s Convenience  and Deli

A local favorite for quick to-go meals, this locally owned store has mastered homemade cooking in a deli format. They have really good smoked chicken, ribs and fried chicken with all the country sides. You order at the counter and can then dine inside or take it to go. They are reasonably priced and since it’s a convenience store, you can pick up other things you may need during your stay in Van Buren. They have a large alcohol selection including craft beer that most local gas stations don’t carry. 

6. Godfather’s Pizza 

Godfather’s pizza is a regional chain with quality pizza, calzones and breadsticks. It’s a solid dining choice, especially for a feeding a large group. Since COvid, they have closed their dining room and it’s pick up only via the drive through. 

7. Main Street Market 

Recently built in the last few years, Main Street Market is a clean, nice, local grocery store where you can pick up groceries to cook or grill while staying at the cabin. They have a great deli with fried chicken, chicken strips or cold cut meats to make sandwiches. The meat department is excellent for a locally owned and operated store. We love their steaks and salmon. 

8. McDonald’s 

If you need something quick, the world’s largest fastest chain has a location right here in Van Buren. 

9. Subway 

Located by McDonald’s on Hwy 60, this is a great option to pick up sandwiches for your day on the river or for a picnic at Big Springs. 

Building Elk Pointe Cabin

Elk Pointe Cabin recently completed construction in spring 2021. Most new construction homes these days are not log homes, so we’ve had many visitors ask how Elk Pointe Cabin was built, and about the types of wood or materials used in the process. We love the cabin, and love sharing it with guests who also appreciate the craftsmanship. So, we have put together this blog to share the story on who built it, how it was built, and how we chose the cabin name. 

The Builder 

First, we’d like share a little about the builder. We are lucky enough to have Griffin Log Homes build Elk Pointe Cabin. They have been in business since 1977 and have built many log homes around Van Buren, Poplar Bluff and Southeast Missouri. They have built everything from one bedroom river cabins to luxury home estates. They stay very busy and are constantly booked up with clients who seek them out for their quality craftsmanship. Every client knows it’s worth the wait to get their dream log home! 

There’s several features that Griffin Log Homes uses on their builds to make it possible to “spot” a Griffin Log home as you explore Van Buren. As explained later in the blog, they have their own mill so all their exterior beams are identical is the most common way spot one of their homes. It’s also common for them to use open cross beams with black brackets and deck railings with black brackets and rods. Their interior finishing work is the same in all homes making it possible to know that it’s a c. We always think it’s fine to tour how other homeowners have finished out their bills and done their layouts. Each one is similar in the style, but everyone is unique in the layout and the finishes. 

The company was started by Jack Griffin who is still very involved with the company, but it’s now in it’s second generation with his two sons taking over the construction crews. They are all really nice people and trustworthy contractors, who are easy to work with. 

The Construction 

The exterior for walls of the cabin are whole logs that come from the North East around Maine??. They are eastern white Pines which are known for being straight and true, and are not as sappy as many of the pine trees that are in the Midwest. After the logs make their journey to Van Buren, Griffin log homes mills each log to create the desired shape. The exterior of each beam is rounded to give it a classic log home look, while the interior is flat to look like traditional pine car siding. In the middle of the logs, there are tongue and grooves on top and bottom that help the log stack straight up. You can see how they fit together at the four corners of the house. 

The interior of the house was framed with regular two by fours. The interior of the house is covered with white pine car siding. 

The cabinets are knotty red oak in a shaker cabinet style with a medium tone stain. They were custom built for Elk Pointe Cabin by in Poplar Bluff, MO. 

We’ve also had questions about the type of flooring that we used throughout the home. The flooring is called Atroguard and is extremely durable and waterproof flooring. Ours is called “Mountain Lodge” which complements the rustic log home esthetic. 

Most of the lighting is from Lowe’s or menards. The master bathroom walk-in shower tile is from Menards. The master bathroom soaker tub is from 

The Cabin Name 

We decided to call it Elk Pointe Cabin, because it’s at the entrance to the Elk Pointe development, a private wooded development by Griffin Log Homes. At the time of this blog, there are 10 properties for sale – ranging from 3 to 3.5 acres each.  All of them will be log homes custom built by their company! If you love staying at our cabin, you could buy your own 3 acre property in the woods to build your own log home! 

We also named it after the elk that will hopefully repopulate the area. There is an effort by the Missouri Department of Conservation to repopulate the area with elk. Most are within Peck Conservation Ranch, a 22,000 acre park. It’s x mile drive to the park. But they have also been seeing outside the park. People have seen elk along the Current River. We hope to see an elk along the river one day too!

If you have any other questions about the cabin or materials used to build it, feel free to email us at elkpointecabin@gmail.com

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