Rick at Mass Street Auto is a hardworking, honest street corner mechanic with fair pricing - hard to come by these days. Most folks with new vehicles will take them to the dealerships, but for those driving older cars or who don't like going to dealerships this is a great locally-owned option.
He does oil changes and simple stuff, too, but unlike Jiffy Lube etc you have to make an appt and leave your vehicle there for a few hours. Also unlike the quick-change assembly line franchises he won't try to upsell you a bunch of stuff, leave the dipstick out or the drain plug loose, etc etc. Have taken many vehicles to him over the years and will continue to support him as long as he's around.
I've been a customer here since when it was by Johnny's and Gaslight at the river. Bruce and his crew perform an old-school and vital function - one of the few places you can take non-mechanical stuff to be fixed, tweaked, modified, restored, cleaned up, custom-made, etc. Jackets, coats, belts, boots, shoes, purses, bags, cowboy hats re-shaped, etc.
They seem to get noticed more when the economy is down and people would rather keep something they're familiar with and pay to have a new strap put on it or a new zipper installed rather than throw it away and buy something that isn't quite what they want. They are local, competent, and plenty of personality at this place, with banjos and dobros hanging on the walls and ancient industrial sewing machines from a century ago.
For a town smack dab in the middle of American without a large Italian population, we sure have a great selection of Italian restaurants.
Genovese is an outstanding Italian eatery brought to you by the same group that gives us La Parilla and Zen Zero. Similarly Genovese's menu represents the diversity of Italian food, not just the tomato sauce and pasta we grew up with as kids (That's a spicy meatball!)
Obviously like many Italian eateries pasta and sauces are made in house and ingredients tend to be seasonal, so expect an ever changing menu. Pay particular attention to the soups because they are usually outstanding and are excellent compliments to the weather outside: thick hearty soups in the winter and light and refreshing soups in the summer.
One of my favorite menu items are the fried local Wakarusa mushrooms that are quite the treat. These aren't the breaded mushrooms you get at the bar that are pretty much batter balls with something resembling a mushroom stuck in the middle. These fried mushrooms are more in a tempura style: a extremely light coating that makes the mushroom inside crunchy and moist. The dominate flavor is the mushroom, not the coating. Coating is tasty though!
The wine list here is awesome! A selection of wines by the glass and bottle at reasonable and accessible prices. Watch out for wine specials and wine dinners--they aren't to be missed.
This is one of the most unique coffee houses I've ever been to, and I've sure been there a lot. This place is hyperlocal! Started in Lawrence over 15 years ago, this is a great destination for just about anyone.
The atmosphere is comfy, eclectic and always subject to change. Currently it includes some plush couches, benches, and tables. The graffiti room in the back is definitely R rated, so either contribute your own thoughts or learn from the wisdom of previous patrons. Reliable wifi is easy accessible here, but during some times you have to ask for a pass as people treat it like a library rather than a place of business. You should buy something if you want to work here, but don't worry, there's plenty of stuff to eat and drink
For eats, they've got everything. A 24 hour cereal bar comes complete with old and new favorites as well as classic cartoons playing on tiny TVs giving you that retro feel of your childhood. Grilled delicious paninis make a great breakfast or lunch. Personally I'm fond of a breakfast panini with breakfast sausage along with some peppers. All baked goods are made on premise, I think partially just to make you hungry. Not just muffins and cookies, but custom cupcakes you can tart up with various frostings and sprinkles.
Finally the drinks is tasty and numerous. The coffee is curated by the owner and is a custom blend available here only. Drinks have classic Lawrence names like Sex Bomb and Lieutenant Dan (who was actually a barista at one time). The vanilla and chocolate syrups as well as the chai is made in house. During the winter months they have hot apple cider which I highly recommend.
Overall this is an experience you won't forget and you'll rub elbows with just about everyone in Lawrence. If you don't stop by here during your visit to Lawrence, you haven't really experienced the town.
Local, organic and sustainable are three things always on the menu here and what makes this place a legend. Years ago this place led a national charge towards focusing on healthy food that is locally sourced whenever possible. Sure, things may occasionally cost a bit more here, but anyone who knows food politics knows that cheap food comes out rather expensive.
Instead of purchasing food at rock-bottom subsidized prices (corn anyone?), owner Hilary Brown focuses on the impact food has on our community. That means you pay more to get quality ingredients because suppliers typically are local and thus want to pay a living wage. The beef isn't imported from Argentina and the vegetables from China, but usually places more exotic like Baldwin and Tonganoxie. You can actually drive out and see these farms to know where the food comes from.
The menu often changes due to supplies and the whim and experimentation of the chefs. Diners with food allergies will love this place because you can ask the exact ingredients of practically any item on the menu. While the place isn't gluten free, gluten free is often an option on many dishes.
Vegetarians will adore this place because she has the World Best Veggie Burger: that's its name and it 100% lives up to it. This isn't fake meat, but a healthy protein mix of ancient grains such as quinoa (a protein powerhouse) fried up in extra virgin coconut oil that is rich in lauric acid. You can even buy multipacks to go.
Be sure to follow them on Twitter and fan them on Facebook to find out their daily specials!
Darin Lutz and his crew did a wonderful job on my roof. He worked well with my insurance and got the job done in a timely fashion after a major storm. When small problems developed, he took care of it ASAP. Five years later roof is still awesome. Honesty, Integrity and experience sums it up nicely.
Bird dog seems to have it all:
-Great location - perfect for a college town and always something going on on game days. -Great, reasonably priced food with a large drink selection. -Great atmosphere. My only complaint is sometimes the service is rushed but that's when it's really busy (which seems to be happening more and more since the Bird Dog opened).
I love their food ... it's like a step up from regular bar food without being too sophisticated. If you want sophistication, the Oread Hotel offers that in their Five 21 restaurant. If you want to have a good time, watch the game, and not break the bank - stay down in the Bird Dog.
They have some awesome pretzels, great meaty wings, and loaded chicken nachos to start. I love their chopped salad with prosciutto or their Garlic Herb Chicken sandwich. You can also order a pizza from the Slice of History Restaurant which is fun for game day grub.
Beware of the parking -- it's hard to find a place to park around that neighborhood. They do have valet in a garage connected to the bar. If you decide to park around the hotel, make sure you aren't going to get towed or get stuck walking up a steep hill.
I'm not a huge fan of the pizza here, but order a special one not on the bar, and it's better. However, the manager is great. My son had a few friends over there for a birthday, and he was treated like a king. I love the brownies and cinnamon buns. I often also think the bathrooms should be cleaner; the rest of the place seems fine. I love the prices.
People are always friendly and helpful. We are not in Lawrence a lot, but have been for a few football games and for shopping. People are very helpful with directions and such. The college is always clean and orderly. The youth football camp my sons attended was very organized and helpful to them. Great place...I hope my children attend one day!