Archive for Friday, January 26, 2007

Moon Bar site to rise again

Asian restaurant with a new name, theme expected to open in month or two

January 26, 2007


The Moon Bar is poised to get back in business - under a different name, with a different theme and operating with different hours.

But the new restaurant - Japanese, Chinese or some form of Asian fusion cuisine paired with late-night music and spirits - will occupy the same Iowa Street building that gained infamous notoriety with an incident nearly two years ago that led to J.R. Giddens' departure from Kansas University's basketball team.

"I can't wait anymore," said Xin Li "Sonny" Liu, who owns the building that he and partners had put up for sale in October 2005.

Liu said he would open a restaurant and bar sometime in the next month or two at 821 Iowa, a 4,200-square-foot building that has been vacant since Moon Bar closed in July 2005. The bar was the site of a closing-time melee in which Giddens had been slashed.

The incident involving Giddens - who transferred from KU and now plays basketball at the University of New Mexico - gained so much attention that Liu knows he'll be making changes.

"I will change the name," he said this week.

Liu and his partners originally had intended to sell the building and an adjoining lot, listing the property for $1.249 million. They touted the site as being big enough to accommodate redevelopment into apartments and offices.

But last year the listing price had dropped to $830,000, Liu said, and an interested buyer from out of state had spent eight months working on a deal that would never materialize.

Liu was done.

"I've changed my mind, and I don't want to sell anymore," said Liu, who also owns Royal Peking and TryYaki restaurants in Lawrence and two others in Manhattan. "If somebody wants to lease, I'll lease. But if not, I'll open a bar."

Liu's building isn't the only property in the area to be on the market. Doug Compton, president of First Management Inc., and a partner recently secured a deal to purchase the former Sinclair service station at the northwest corner of Ninth and Iowa streets. The site is available for lease.


Kelly Powell 11 years, 4 months ago

Sheesh! who did i offend now? and as I am married to Leann....who was the backbone and heart of paradise cafe, i can tell you we have thought of opening a breakfast place that would shame all others....anybody got a spare million or two?

KSChick1 11 years, 4 months ago

I don't think it was just the slashing of a KU player that shut that place down

it does not say it in the article but the Moon Bar had to have been losing money

I was there several times and it was never busy, never full

Kelly Anderson 11 years, 4 months ago

The business was shut down due to issues with the liquor license....something about that it was not up date or he didn't have one or something like that....that was found out because of the incident that happened there.

Wilbur_Nether 11 years, 4 months ago

"turn it back into the village inn!!! or maybe a denny's!!!"

Uuggghh!! Let it sit vacant if that's the only other alternative.

staff04 11 years, 4 months ago

If I remember correctly, I went into this place once with an old girlfriend...they had a lot of mirrors...why not turn it into a shake joint?

Wilbur_Nether 11 years, 4 months ago

biggunz wrote "there are no good breakfast joints in this town!!"

For breakfast, I like Milton's quite a bit. I also enjoy Mirth. Aimee's does pretty well, and Hayes has good old-fashioned diner-style breakfasts. Oh, and Wheatfields has good breakfasts, too.

Wilbur_Nether 11 years, 4 months ago

couranna1 makes some good points about places becoming infamous. For example, Lincoln and Ford's Theatre. Jesse James and St. Joseph, MO. Tombstone Arizona and Wyatt Earp.

girly 11 years, 4 months ago

Yea, I hope it becomes Royal Peking West. They're the best chinese food in town. We don't need another bar.

Bladerunner 11 years, 4 months ago

Lincoln and Ford's Theatre. Jesse James and St. Joseph, MO. Tombstone Arizona and Wyatt Earp. Moon Bar and J.R. Giddens?

I'm not buying into this one.

Kelly Powell 11 years, 4 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Meatwad 11 years, 4 months ago

If they serve good healthy food or at least have some healthy (i.e. less fat and sugar) choices, I'll go there.

Their decor was not so good though also. It looked like the inside of Perkins or Dennys. Not very cool.

I like that they serve bubble tea.

I didn't know it was the same owner at Try-Yaki. I like that place- they have SUSHI! Moon Bar should offer sushi. :)

Meatwad 11 years, 4 months ago

They have Karoke rooms too. I think if they make some changes to make it more appealing to MORE people, AND market it right, who knows?

KSChick1 11 years, 4 months ago

OOOHHHH Royal Peking is NASTY...I can't stand their food and will never eat there again I have tried TryYaki or whatever it's called and was not impressed with them either I think I won't be going to whatever this place becomes

budwhysir 11 years, 4 months ago

What about building a 6 thousand dollar retreat for the middle class people

littlelawrencian 11 years, 4 months ago

Hey don't any of you eat at Kelly's? Formerly Clay's Cafe, out on 19th and Haskell. It is a great hang out for the local yokels and they do serve breakfast, which is your standard stuff, but I really like their hamburgers and on Wednesdays at lunch they are half price. Give em another chance if you have been there before with bad results as they are kickin in high gear there now. I sure miss Paradise though, don't know if that can be re-visited or not. I get sick every time I eat at IHOP for some reason so I don't go there anymore.

bearded_gnome 11 years, 4 months ago

miss the paradise too lots!

gun and knife show: LMAO! there's an idea in its time.

or we need it to become a jock retreat where the jocks can escape public scrutiny and behave how they wish, only with each other?

budwhysir 11 years, 4 months ago

I dont know why anyone would open a place to eat around here. When the football games move to Arrowhead there wont be anyone left in town in the mornings to eat, they will all be out of town for the home games

seecat 11 years, 1 month ago

This bar is in about its first week of operation and is already a blight on the Hillcrest neighborhood and the motels near 9th and Iowa which are blasted mercilessly with sound from the "music" and patrons unruly behavior outdoors. Mr. Liu has his finger on the pulse of the violence-prone population and is catering to it to make a fast buck - more trouble is in the future for this location.

What is our City Commission thinking in allowing this kind of operation on what used to be a peaceful street with a skateboard park, Bucky's, the Merc, etc?

If you don't believe me, drive by there on a Friday or Saturday night and ask yourselves if this is what you want happening in your city, on a main thoroughfare for people entering Lawrence from out of town.

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