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FLASHBACK: The coffee is on at the old JoJo's - Odessa American: Celinda Hawkins

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FLASHBACK: The coffee is on at the old JoJo's

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Posted: Sunday, September 8, 2013 4:45 am

The history of burger joints in Odessa is a long one – and there were many local places that we all remember fondly and with much nostalgia.

One in particular is a joint that was around for almost if not more than five decades: JoJos Hamburgers, located right next to the Broadmoor shopping center near the corner of University and Grandview.

New owners Laura and Hector Flores have transformed the iconic hamburger shaped building into a tiki hut and will open Maui Wowi Hawaiian Coffee and Smoothies Friday.

At first blush, I have to say I was a little concerned because, well, nothing but burgers, shakes, fries and fried pickles have ever come out of the window of that joint.

But Laura and Hector are ready to give the place a fresh look and a new reputation. They are going to be selling Hawaiian coffee and a variety of fruit smoothies, cookies, breads and even salmon and crackers and hummus.

Wow, that’s different. So get ready, the window opens at 6:30 a.m. Friday. The legendary burger joint closed its windows in 2012.

“It needed a change and needed to be dressed up,” Laura said of the building that is now adorned with a thatched roof and bright colors. “A lot of people have stopped by and asked about this. We’re excited about having another coffee place in town.”

Decades ago, JoJos enjoyed a reputation as the place where you could get the best hamburger in town. Just like Buck’s Drive In was the place to go for fried shrimp, JoJo’s was the place for burgers.

Way back in the day, at the Hawkins house, burgers were a treat and we only went out for them if mom and dad were wall-papering the kitchen or engaged in some other huge project. And, most of the time, we only went to JoJo’s.

The good news is Maui Wowi  has opened and an iconic building has not been demolished.

Unlike some other landmarks that may have a date with a wrecking ball. One of those is Endless Horizons, the legendary record shop with the iconic sunset mural on the front. Longtime friend and partner Ron “Ronzo” Rogers has said the lease will be up next August. And he, along with the late owner Tom Logan’s son, Sam, probably just don’t want to think about the inevitable. We just don’t want to think about the toilet seat outside the door, closing for good.

Friends on Remember in Odessa When remember the old building fondly going back to more than just the kids of the seventies. Before it was Endless Horizons, it was Tommy’s Drive In and then later Nicky’s, which were popular hangouts for teenagers in the 1950s and ‘60s.

Some posters on Facebook were suggesting the Endless Horizons building be saved for posterity.

“They need to pick it up and move it if they can’t stay,” Tami Wagnon Anderson posted.

“If I wasn’t old by now… I’d say let’s have a sit-in for this beautiful landmark,” posted Joshua E. Palmer. “…the mural adds class and acts as a beacon for directions…”

Frances Miles posted that some years ago, some concerned citizens tried to lobby to save some structures but there just wasn’t enough interest. She said the key is to get the word out.

“I’m sure if enough people really cared they could have it declared a historical building and if not to remain in that location to move it someplace else. But if the City Fathers and OC don’t KNOW that people want to keep it, then it is disposable to them.”

Good point, Frances.

Meanwhile, the coffee will be brewing over at the old JoJo’s Friday.

And thanks to the Floreses, I’ll be in line at 6:30 a.m. getting my first cup of Kona blend at Maui Wowi.

Odessa, TX

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