Paying tribute to Noel Barnes, the man who designed and built the neon Town Topic sign that has become such an iconic part of downtown Kansas City. Noel was born in 1925 in Kansas City, Missouri and lived here all his life. He was a sign builder and hanger for the former Southwest Boulevard company, Signs, Inc., for more than 30 years. During that time he was also a loyal Town Topic customer, who became friends with Town Topic founder, Claude Sparks. One day Claude asked Noel if he’d design a sign for the restaurant, and the rest is history. Noel passed away in 2010 at the age of 84. We are grateful for his imagination, skill, patronage and friendship. Mike Schwabauer Photography
Aaahhh the good old days – when you could get a Town Topic hamburger for just 10 cents! Here’s TT founder Claude Sparks at the 2021 Broadway location in KCMO in 1945. The restaurant is still there today!