Paul Whitehill, Founder of Whitehill Enterprises and Tile Mosaic & Mural Design, is excited to share a new mural in Joplin! Paul was hired as a contractor to complete a bright and eye-catching new wall mural for Instant Karma in Joplin, MO. The team at Tile Mosaic & Mural Design completed everything from the design to the installation of the wall covering.

“It seems like it was only yesterday that I made my first visit to Instant Karma, 527 S. Main St., for a gourmet hot dog. That was nearly 10 years ago.

So what’s new with Instant Karma? Uh, just about everything.

The place has been given a new look, and there’s a new menu to go with that new look. Jason and Suzanne Miller found some time for me on Wednesday before their reopening after being closed for three days to do the update, and what an update it is. You’ve got to check it out for yourself.

The place has a new name.

“It’s no longer Instant Karma Gourmet Hot Dogs. It’s just Instant Karma,” said Suzanne.

“It is?” Jason asks.

“That’s what the new sign says,” she said.

“Well, I guess it is,” he said with a laugh.

Instant Karma is much more open now with new tables and chairs, new lighting, a brighter bar and some additional seating. And it’s much more colorful. Expanding on an idea they saw on Facebook, the Millers teamed up with Paul Whitehill, who is known for his tile murals, to do a mural for the restaurant’s south wall. It’s not made of tile, but that does not detract from its impact. It’s a bold use of color.

“We want to be constantly changing, and that includes the food and even the beers we have on tap,” Jason said.

But this is where things could get dicey. The peanut-butter hamburger is no longer on the menu. Jason said he is hearing some dissatisfaction with that decision. Also cut was the Cajun gravy. I know someone who will probably need to enroll in a 12-step recovery program when he hears that.

“But you can’t keep adding things to the menu. Some things have got to go to make way for the new,” Jason said.

Let’s remember this: Instant Karma does not occupy a big space. You have to have storage space to offer so many options.

“We don’t have the space to keep it,” he said.

This does not mean the peanut-butter hamburger or Cajun gravy will disappear forever. They will become future specials of the day.

Chicken and waffles, which has been popular as a special, is now a regular entree on the menu. Also new to the menu is fried chicken and something called “Impossible Meatloaf,” a vegan choice. It’s a plant-based meatloaf. Instant Karma still has a huge selection of gourmet dogs, burgers, sandwiches, salads and pastas.

I was concerned about whether one side dish, the bleu cheese slaw, was still on the menu. It is. Hissy fit averted.

Instant Karma started when the downtown art walk was launched 10 years ago. Jason said the coincidence of that timing had a profound influence on the success of the restaurant.

“We opened with the first art walk. That’s how people found out about us,” he said. “It put us on the map.”

Creative food options and good service have kept them there.”

Write-Up By The Joplin Globe: