Construction of Wakarusa Crossroads Center should begin next week. The project aims to be open by April 15.
Lawrence's newest steakhouse will open next spring with a full-service bar, an outdoor mezzanine, and a basement wine cellar and banquet room with seating for 250 people.
And it'll be where action is: northwest Lawrence.
"Lawrence is a really growing community," said Rod Anderson, owner and operator of Hereford House, which plans to open by April 15 near Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive. "It, and at least the east part of Topeka, becomes an important factor for us."
Burgers and fish will join a menu heavy on steaks, potatoes and salads for Hereford House's third restaurant -- and the first outside the Kansas City area.
The restaurant will employ about 100 people, will seat 225 people in its main floor dining room and occupy more than 10,000 square feet in the Wakarusa Crossroads Center, a 51,000-square-foot strip center to be built west of the McDonald's restaurant at the southwest corner of Sixth and Wakarusa.
The center also will include an office for Countrywide Mortgage Co., and plans are in the works for an upscale sporting goods store featuring a climbing wall and other activities. The project will cover 6 acres and have three "anchor" tenants, plus eight to 10 smaller shops.
About 100 people gathered Thursday morning at the site for a groundbreaking ceremony. Construction is expected to begin next week and be completed by May 1.
The project is owned by Phil and Loretta DiVilbiss of Mission Hills, principals in the The Bristol Groupe. Their first project at the corner, called Wakarusa Center, already provides about 21,000 square feet for a liquor store, ice cream shop, grill and bar and other tenants.
Anderson's Hereford House Restaurant Group owns two steakhouses -- one in downtown Kansas City and another in Leawood -- and manages Uptown Cafe in Leawood. The group also plans to open a seafood restaurant, an ice cream parlor and a soda fountain in November at Union Station in Kansas City, Mo.
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