Archive for Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Yello Sub’s future up in air

Building’s owner supports plan for redevelopment

June 27, 2006


A planned new development at 12th and Indiana streets on the fringe of the Kansas University campus may mean big changes for Yello Sub, a longtime favorite sandwich shop for students and other residents.

Customers visit the Yello Sub property Monday at 12th and Indiana streets. The owner of the business said he's not worried about plans by a Manhattan attorney to turn the corner into a new, mixed-use development.

Customers visit the Yello Sub property Monday at 12th and Indiana streets. The owner of the business said he's not worried about plans by a Manhattan attorney to turn the corner into a new, mixed-use development.

But the owner of the Yello Sub property said he's not worried about plans by a Manhattan attorney to turn the corner into a new, mixed-use development.

"Let's put the whole project into play, and let's see what we can come up with," property owner Jeff Morrow said.

The Journal-World reported last week that Manhattan-based developer Robert Pottroff purchased the building that houses The Crossing bar from Lida Martin and other nearby property in hopes of redeveloping the corner.

Morrow admitted his old building housing the sub shop has its problems. It's a fully depreciated, 90-plus-year-old site with a cracking roof and a "funky" basement - and if Pottroff has a solid plan, Morrow said he's on board.

"I told (Pottroff) that I'm totally supportive," Morrow said. "I think there's a really good, tasteful new building that can be done there."

Yello Sub going under?

Patrons of Yello Sub, a longtime sandwich shop just north of Kansas University's campus, say they'll miss it if it closes for good. Enlarge video

So supportive, in fact, that Pottroff said Morrow could soon become a member of his newly incorporated development company, Skyscapes of Lawrence, LLC.

"I'm going to sit down and have some good conversations with Jeff in the next couple days," Pottroff said. "You can anticipate that he'll be a member of that group."

Currently, Skyscapes owns The Crossing building, an adjoining apartment complex and other lot portions at the corner, county records show.

Morrow wouldn't comment on possibly joining the partnership, except to say he'll take a wait-and-see approach to possible buy-out offers and development plans.

Morrow wouldn't say what may happen to the Yello Sub aside from noting that a long-term lease exists with the sandwich shop's business owner, Bob Jones.

Jones said he hasn't heard much about the development plans except what Morrow has told him.

Yello Sub (Midtown)

624 W. 12th St., Lawrence


"There are lots of rumors," Jones said. "I don't know what to believe."

Jones said he has a multiyear lease for the place, but business hasn't been good recently, and he expressed doubts about the sandwich shop's viability in that location.

"It's no secret that we don't do as well as we used to," Jones said.

Regardless what happens to the aging building, Jones said that between the Kansas Union's food court cutting into sales and students generally spending less money, he may consider moving the shop closer to the heart of the city.

"If I had the opportunity to move it downtown, I might. I'd have to consider it," Jones said.

Pottroff said he plans to submit preliminary sketches of his proposed development to Lawrence city staff later this week and that the revamping of the corner would move on from there.

"We won't rush in and do anything that will hurt the tradition of that spot," Pottroff said.


fletch 11 years ago

That's it. It's over. My heart has officially been crushed. The thought of no Crossing hurt. The thought of some yuppie from Manhatten building a crappy minimall next to campus was painful. But now Yello Sub going down as well?! This is an end to an era.

I don't know what is going to be built at that corner. But I used to live right there and walk by those places every day. I used to eat Yello Sub 3 or 4 times a week. To think that all that is going to be gone and replaced with some pre-packaged starbucks or packed to the brim with the demon spawn of Johnson County. Shudder. Why not just bulldoze downtown and put up a mall. This just breaks me.

Richard Heckler 11 years ago

Yellow Sub downtown might not be so bad. The thought of a good Tempeh Rueben while cruising Mass on feet warms the tummy. Yumo.

geekin_topekan 11 years ago

I have missed seeing the fireworks on the 4th at the stadium and watching from the Hawk's Crossing patio. Didn't Yello Sub used to be at 9th and New Hampshire?This would have been in the early 80s but that sight rings a bell.

pundit 11 years ago

This Manhattan Yuppie is also the one who 1)drives an obnoxious Purple school bus to all KSU games with drunks yelling anti-KU obscenities and 2)represents KSU athletes who encounter trouble with the law

Caveat emptor.

rtwngr 11 years ago

Some of us sipped our first 3.2% beer at the "Crossing" formerly the "Rock Chalk Cafe". sniff

Baille 11 years ago

That's fine, Marion. I think everyone has gotten your point.

I spent many a fine afternoon on the porch of the Crossing. And I didn't put in a bid on it in TWO YEARS! So what? I can't be a little wistful? I can't take a couple of minutes to bask in the warmth of twenty-year-old memories of room temperature beer and long spring weekday afternoons with nothing more pressing than watching the day go by?

Lighten up, buddy.

happyone 11 years ago

Marion you need to lighten up Bub....if you don't want to read everyone's posts about missing The Crossing and Yellow Sub go read the reactions on another story.

I will miss that Yellow Sub location but am happy to hear they are considering downtown, that would be great! :)

yermama 11 years ago

According to Jeff Morrow, he had absolutedly NO interest in selling this property. When asked repeatedly, the answer was always the same-NO! If this property was actually on the market for two years, why be so secretive about it? In the world of money grubbing SOB's and shady business deals, the name of the game is DENY DENY DENY! Anyone who has spent time in Lawrence knows that these two buildings are K.U. icons.

As for Pottroff's last quote in the article: "we won't rush in and do anything to hurt the tradition of that spot"

I'm assuming that the emphasis is on the speed in which this will happen. Because in my book, bulldozing two Lawrence landmarks will do nothing but "hurt the tradition of that spot."

12345 11 years ago

geek: Yello Sub originally was located on 23rd just west of Louisiana, right about where Panera's is now. The Yello Sub concept began at the Crossing when Morrow owned it, bread was baked and sandwiches heated in the teeny tiny kitchen behind the bar area.

gphawk89 11 years ago

Nooooo!!! Save the Yellow Sub! I used to eat there all the time. It was only about two blocks from where I lived and I visited countless times during my years at KU.

Why are we letting a "Manhattan-based atttorney" do this to Lawrence and KU? "Manhattan" and "attorney" are two of my least favorite words.

yermama 11 years ago

That "business is bad" story has been his standard line for years now. For someone who sold the franchise rights to Planet Sub and spends most of the year in Costa Rica, I don't think he will be on the street anytime soon.

swampmusic 11 years ago

"Shut your pie hole Marion" Now that was funny, I don't care who you are.

narky 11 years ago

I hear Starbuck's knocking.... This is the exact same thing that happened at Mizzou last year, and a Starbucks moved in.

DaREEKKU 11 years ago

I think it would be kind of nice to have some late 19th century style buildings built there that would house Yellow Sub, The Crossing, and some lofts for students upstairs-pending they don't cost an arm and a leg. It is rather sad that alot of our buildings here are being sold off especially to sh^tty companies like First Management but alot of these business owners have ALOT of equity built up in these places. So, I can't really blame them, but I also think it's sad. I would have to agree with most of you, Marion is going a bit overboard.

yermama 11 years ago


Thank you for setting me straight. Heads up man, maybe the reason you did not get your bank loan is because you spelled it "buisnes" on the loan application.

xenophonschild 11 years ago

Will it never end?

The old Stables is now an apartment complex. Mother Mary's is an insurance office. The Bodega is a storage room, and The Pink Flamingo is now only a pleasant memory.

Oh well. As long as there's malt liquor, and Louise's, we'll survive.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years ago

Emotion says "dang... it's gone". But, really, that location had some issues. Parking was poor, and the building was really limited in terms of how the space could be utilized. It's not like Yellow Sub is "gone". I imagine that the location will be put to good use, and we'll get over it soon enough. They'll find a location on 6th or 9th, and keep making sandwiches.

yermama 11 years ago

A word to future posters:

No more "Save Yello Sub.....I USED to eat there 3 times a week stories." If you are sad and want to reminisce that's fine, but do not complain unless you can say that you still eat there regularly. It's true that "your dollar is your vote", but even more appropriate would be the old adage:

"Money talks, bull*&#t walks"

gccs14r 11 years ago

I avoid the YS on the hill because it looks scary from a health standpoint. Put it in a cleaner building and I'll go back. I'm a regular customer on 23rd, but that's a lot farther away.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years ago

"iblong: It's still a college town....It's just not YOUR college town anymore. Such is the natural order of things."

Yes, growth is impossible without change. I'm not talking about growth in the sense of "getting bigger" but in the sense of "staying current, becoming better, being relevant".

flux 11 years ago

I say we put in a mini walmart

Althea Schnacke 11 years ago

I can almost guarantee that a Kinko's won't go in right away, since there's one at the Union.

flux 11 years ago

Yes, one with a mechanical bull

landon_alger 11 years ago

I doubt Kinkos will go in there -- they were already at that location back in the early 90s. You used to have to buy packets for classes there until someone realized there was a copyright problem with that.

cutny 11 years ago


RE: Your question

  1. "Why don't you READ my posts?" A: BECAUSE I HAVEN'T GOT ALL F-in Day like you must to read every stroke of drivel that comes out of your computer.

  2. Why don't you tell us everything you THINK you know about Why someone may or may not be doing/thinking/planning something? A: Because you already did.

staff04 11 years ago


They're making fun of you over on the Japanese Calligraphy story blog. Better go defend yourself.

i_have_only_valid_opinions 11 years ago

I bet if Starbucks does replace YS that it would have more business than The Crossing and YS combined. You can't fault someone for making a good business decision. Plus, it sounds like this might give the YS owner the opportunity to move to a more profitable location himself. Sounds like a good plan from a business stand point.

staff04 11 years ago

That's why Starbucks downtown is doing so well, right? Great location, great business plan, yet no least not from the locals...

i_have_only_valid_opinions 11 years ago

Downtown doesn't get the daily morning traffic of caffiene craving college students. This location would. Plus other "drive-by" people on their way to work and lunch.

esubrett 11 years ago

cutny: Greatest post of the day, thanks for saying what all of us are thinking.

swampmusic 11 years ago

Marion is a "top-thater" nobody likes a "top-thater".In addition, he is a really atrocious speller. If one insists on playing the role of a "top-thater' , then one's spelling and diction must be far superior to that of dear old Marion. That's all I'm saying.

Good day.


Emily Hadley 11 years ago

Yes, we will all survive the changes. We just ask for thorough planning and input, to avoid the blight of retail vacancy and shoddy construction that is evident all over the less guarded areas of Lawrence. The fact that people are this passionate about the property says something. I say everyone who wants Yello Sub to stay should go buy a foot long and a cookie ASAP, and tip 'em. 841-3268.
Remember, nostalgia is great, but our dollars really are our votes.

harleycowboy 11 years ago

well its sad that all the things that where in lawrence at one time have been torn down IE the drive in ,the skateing ring ,the putt putt golf , an all the other things that where here for kids to do ... now days if you dont drink an have kids you need to go out of town to do this things any more what a shame lets all cry for a lil ol place up on KU thats what lawrence does best give what KU want an not their own thats why we dont have much for our kids to do any more in town..

staff04 11 years ago

Somehow, I am the thread spoiler...

And hurlehey_boy: Has it only been three? I remember all three of them, but I thought there was a long history of failed coffee shops over there.

fletch 11 years ago

Well for those of you that think I'm a hypocrit for not going to Yello Sub 3 or 4 time a week lik I used to, I don't live in Lawrence currently, so driving 6 hours for lunch isn't really in the gameplan, but I still stop by at least once every time I'm in town.

I take back half my hostility towards the guy redeveloping the property. I still don't like the fact that he is 1) a lawyer 2) from Manhatten, but who knows, maybe he's a nice guy. My fear (and I'll say it's just a fear not a wierd conspiracy theory) is that Lawrence is going to loose something that is very Lawrencian and get something Johnson County back in return. To be able to walk right off campus and grab a beer in an old rickety wood hut or eat a sandwhich in a giant old house that looks like it belong in Colorado was part of what made that corner great. It stuck out, yet blended in. It wasn't trying to be polished.

And now we get this big question of what's moving in? A stripmall? Chain stores? Is it going be be a giant concrete block? Or will it look as old and unique as what already sits there? I don't know. I just hope and pray that this developer understands the history and sentimentality that is attached to that corner and chooses to respect and work with it than piss on the memories of generations.

i_have_only_valid_opinions 11 years ago

Bob knows that the main point in the argument for Starbucks succeeding if they were a tenant option in the new building. "Experience!" Plus, Starbucks is what is known in the retail world as a "destination within reason". No the downtown Starbucks is not jam packed with customers every waking second, but it is also out of the way for most people on their daily routine. Thus making it unreasonable for everyone that likes Starbucks to go downtown to get coffee everyday. This is exactly why they are popping up everywhere. They have to be within the target zone. Why would Starbucks succeed where the others have failed? Because they are to some extent a destination among coffee drinkers, especially the young and hip (i.e. college kids and young professionals). Do you see where this all comes together hurley?

i_have_only_valid_opinions 11 years ago

And are you all forgetting that there is another YS in town too? Same great food!

mom_of_three 11 years ago

That was funny, staff!!

see_what_you..... I am still chuckling!!

BS20 11 years ago

No Crossing??? Why do I go to this School? I mean seriously. That is my after class get hammered place.

brfts 11 years ago

If this place goes under then it's truely the death of Lawrence. I've always enjoyed going into that place getting sandwitches and listening to whatever music the employees decide to play on their cd's. That's one of my memories of Lawrence.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years ago

"I bet if Starbucks does replace YS that it would have more business than The Crossing and YS combined. You can't fault someone for making a good business decision. Plus, it sounds like this might give the YS owner the opportunity to move to a more profitable location himself. Sounds like a good plan from a business stand point."

One thing to consider: the Union is "not your father's Oldsmobile". When I was at KU, we thought it was great that they sold candy bars at the Union. Now, they have a spa, a Milton's, etc. The Union is a legit threat to many of the sorts of businesses (like ANOTHER coffee shop) that most potential entrepreneurs would attempt at the YS corner. Why walk two blocks to get what they already have at the Union?

classclown 11 years ago

"Jones said he has a multiyear lease for the place, but business hasn't been good recently, and he expressed doubts about the sandwich shop's viability in that location.

"It's no secret that we don't do as well as we used to," Jones said."

Much reminiscing on this board about the good ole' days and what icons these establishments supposedly are. Well icon or not, fond memories do not pay this man's bills.

This place is worthy of you people saying that it must stay so that you can wax nostalgic but not for recieving your business? Do we make him stay there even if he can't afford to run his business there any longer?

Well isn't that rather progressive? But I suppose that's fitting for this town. Maybe the city should keep it propped up with our tax dollars just so all of you can one day tell someone "I once had a sandwich there!".

lboogie 11 years ago

Marion, how long have you lived in Lawrence? Just curious. I have a premonition that the answer to this questions will make your argument much clearer to me.

Also, I think it is fair for anyone in Lawrence to name-call anyone from Manhattan. If tears are going to be shed over the uttering of "yuppie" go whine about it to the Manhattan paper.

allmine 11 years ago

people it is just a place to hang and eat. not the end of the world. No one likes a favorite place to go away but it does happen people will find someplace new and there are plenty around here.

anjuaria 11 years ago

Marion, what's this?

"Lawrence, Kansas is so screwed up that it cannot find its feet if it looks down; Its butt with a road map or its face in a mirror.

I made the biggest mistake of my life returning to this town and investing ONE CENT, much less what I actually did."

March 3, 2006?!?

latinlab 11 years ago

MARION, You've posted 2,396 posts in 3 years. That's... 2 posts per day, every day since 2003.

milehighhawk 11 years ago

"Marion...Thanks," but it is not necessary to sign every single blog entry with "Thanks. Marion."

We can see your username above every post. That has got to be the most annoying thing I've come across today.



Kaw Pickinton 11 years ago

Life will not be the same with out my green turkey.

gabhan 11 years ago

Hey everybody, I was just wondering..... how did this turn into a fight?


P.S. I had lunch at the dirty old Yello Sub today before I saw this article and learned it was condemned. I used a half-price card, though, so I feel half-responsible for their straits. Sorry, YS!

Terry Jacobsen 11 years ago

Nothing on Yellow Sub... but as far as the Crossing goes... Oh well, one less place for KU Students to drink. No loss there.

lboogie 11 years ago

TJ_in_Lawrence - the prohibition era is over. Live a little!

steffani333 11 years ago

I think its great! I spent my days at the Crossing, too. But I'm still a permanent resident as many of the petition signers are not. I would love to see a more beautiful building on top of Oread. Especially since KU is building a new top of the hill entry. Something modern would be fabulous (maybe designed by 360 Architecture). And why would the Crossing and Yello Sub have to move they are tennants now and can be tennants later. NYC, Chicago, etc have restaurant after restaurant and bar after bar in the ground floor of office buildings, Kansas can do it too. We aren't losing a landmark, the building is ugly and decrepit, its not Victorian or even interesting. And the businesses in the building certainly don't have to die with it. Its up to you, their loyal customers to keep them in business. Don't let your hearts break over a worthless building on an awesome piece of property. Support the businesses you say you love ten fold and ensure their longevity.

blackbob 11 years ago

Marion - one thing is blaringly obvious from your posts:

You dont eat Yello Sub much.

Lawrence's owes its livelihood to the students of KU. You might try respecting the things that make the students happy and give this campus its character.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.