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Archive for Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Vermont Street BBQ closing in four days

September 23, 2009

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Vermont St. BBQ closing doors

Vermont St. BBQ is ready to close its doors after five years of business. Enlarge video

Vermont Street BBQ is closing Sunday, as the restaurant’s owner prepares to close a deal for a new business to occupy its downtown location.

Shad Woodworth, who co-founded the restaurant in 2002, confirmed Wednesday that he was getting out of the barbecue business. He plans to take a year off before attending graduate school, then pursue other business opportunities.

“The restaurant is still viable,” said Woodworth, who noted that he was retaining the business’ name, smokers, computer system and related assets. “… I’m ready to move on and try something different.”

Woodworth, who is lead owner of a group that leases the two-story building, declined to discuss what business would be moving in. Two businesses upstairs — Hookah House and Cafe Beautiful — will remain, with their leases intact, he said.

Vermont Street BBQ’s nearly 30 employees, half of them full-timers, learned of the pending closure Tuesday night. Employees will receive one week of severance pay.

Vermont Street BBQ opened in August 2002, in a small storefront at 714 Vt. that had been home to Mojo’s. The BBQ joint then relocated in May 2004, retaining the Vermont Street name while moving into the former home of Paradise Cafe on Massachusetts Street.

Woodworth hopes to sell the restaurant’s naming rights, smokers and other items to someone who wants to keep the signature chicken wings and other favorites smoking somewhere in Lawrence. Many of the restaurant’s other assets — those not directly related to a barbecue operation — will remain, having been purchased by the incoming business.

“It’s like with anything that’s important to you,” he said. “I’ll definitely miss the employees the most, the relationships with that. I’ll miss the customers. A lot of regular customers will be disappointed. I’m extremely thankful for all the customers we’ve had.”

Comments

nlf78 5 years, 4 months ago

Not even a weeks notice and only one week of severance pay...I feel bad for the employees.

Stuart Evans 5 years, 4 months ago

ya, this is pretty crappy. a viable business, but the guy got bored and wanted to go play with some other toys for awhile. you don't make a decision like this overnight.. or do you? seems odd.

GetItRight 5 years, 4 months ago

Bring back Paradise!!!! Potato Pancakes - yum!

outtatowntownie 5 years, 4 months ago

This is sad news indeed. I agree, though... Bring back paradise! I'm curious to see what business is moving in... The cynical side of me is assuming that it won't be locally owned.

mom_of_three 5 years, 4 months ago

Oh, no. Love the sweet red pepper salad dressing.

Evan Ridenour 5 years, 4 months ago

I can't imagine there are a lot of restaurants in Lawrence that would offer any severance pay when closing. In fact, I would harbor a guess that barely any that have closed (if any at all) in the last couple years have done so.

It isn't a great situation for the employees, in fact, it sucks... and I feel for them a lot... but the truth is that offering two weeks of pay in the restaurant industry in this kind of circumstance is generous... even if doing more would be desirable.

middle_of_the_road 5 years, 4 months ago

I can't wait to find out what will open in its place.

BabyBear 5 years, 4 months ago

this is terrible. I wonder what the real reason for closing is though!

d_prowess 5 years, 4 months ago

I may be a bit cynical here, but is anyone going to go in there to eat know that the employees may have already "checked-out!"

SofaKing 5 years, 4 months ago

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

missmagoo 5 years, 4 months ago

dang, best bbq in town! what a shame!!!

KSChick1 5 years, 4 months ago

surprised he said it was a viable business...I've eaten there at least 5 times and only had one good experience. The food was cold, unappetizing, and the service was sorely lacking. Kept trying it to give them a chance and to support a local business but had enough and never went back.

Fail.

bwebcorp 5 years, 4 months ago

Vermont BBQ, you will be missed. :- (

1029 5 years, 4 months ago

Wow, seemed like they were doing pretty good business. Usually pretty full and oftentimes there were no tables available on game days.

However, I always questioned their ridiculously early closing time. Over the last few years, there were dozens of occasions in which I would have gone and spent money at Vermont Street if it wasn't for the fact that they closed so ridiculously early. I guarantee that numerous Lawrencians and college students would agree with this.

fabian_zimbabwe 5 years, 4 months ago

The "Breakfast Briefcase" at Paradise Cafe...yumbo!

Paul Geisler 5 years, 4 months ago

This sucks, but give the guy some credit for doing what he wants to do with his life. It sounds like he has had a pretty good run at the BBQ business in this town.

I will certainly miss Vermont Street BBQ, but I've been grabbing some lunch at Biemers's BBQ on my way home and they have some mighty tasty meat and excellent sauces as well. It's certainly different from Vermont St offered, but still very good.

I'm not sure what KSChick1 is talking about because when I've eaten at Vermont St the food has always been hot, the service has been great, the beer has been ice-cold, and the sauces have been nice & spicy! Damn, I'm hungry!

Adrienne Sanders 5 years, 4 months ago

Oh that sucks. That was my favorite bbq in town.

1029, I don't know what your idea of "ridiculously early" is, nor do I know what their hours were, but I know I've gone to eat there as late as 9PM....

somedude20 5 years, 4 months ago

Goodbye $2 pints on Tuesday..stinks! I was just there last night talking with the bartender and she said nothing of this. Guess it was after I was there. They had great gameday specials

9070811 5 years, 4 months ago

breakfast enchiladas from paradise!!! yummy!

RogueThrill 5 years, 4 months ago

VSBBQ was awesome, but we need a Gate's or Aurthur Bryant's.

deadanimals 5 years, 4 months ago

My fingers are crossed that this means the return of Last Call.

Aileen Dingus 5 years, 4 months ago

ohhh nooooo!

I may go through withdrawls. I work downtown and I'll be (*&$#d if I'm going to go to Buffalo Bill's or Bob's or whatever it's called for my BBQ fix at lunch.

:(

someguy 5 years, 4 months ago

I don't remember this place being in the Mojo's building. It seems like it was farther south on Vermont.

cropman49 5 years, 4 months ago

They wouldn't have lasted as long as they did if they would have been in Kansas City. Lawrence doesn't have any real good barbecue.

KU_cynic 5 years, 4 months ago

I can understand a BBQ restaurant closing in Lawrence.

I still am baffled how and why the Paradise Cafe -- which seemed like an institution and a cash machine -- closed.

Danielle Brunin 5 years, 4 months ago

someguy,

It used to be next to Great Harvest after Mojo's moved to the place where Local Burger is now and VSBBQ moved in.

Evan Ridenour 5 years, 4 months ago

" Marion (Marion Lynn) says… It will be recalled that at the time of the move, I predicted that the place would fail die to the poor parking and punitive rent factor."

Wow, that is great Marion, thank you for yet another off topic comment referencing your "greatness" and providing yourself an opportunity to rant about an issue that is completely off topic. The article states that the restaurant was not failing and I see you don't provide any factual basis for implying it was. Thanks for living up to the quality of posting that I always expect out of you.

jlarance85 5 years, 4 months ago

That really is sad news. I had a friend that was planning to have his rehearsal dinner there in May.

avaholic 5 years, 4 months ago

This so sad. I loved going and having $2 pints and having some good bbq

b_asinbeer 5 years, 4 months ago

Marion is a tool...don't listen to him.

As for V-Street closing, I doubt that it's because the owner is tired of it...he could've just sold the place if it was still viable. My bet is that it was going down either due to poor sales, bad food, or horrible management (My guess is all three).

OldEnuf2BYurDad 5 years, 4 months ago

This sucks huge.

To Bob Schumm: Don't EVEN act like you won. Your ribs taste like... nothing.

"the guy got bored and wanted to go play with some other toys for awhile"

Dude, I've worked food, and it's not easy. He wants a different future for himself. That's his prerogative. I've also completed a graduate degree: not the same as playing with toys.

quimby 5 years, 4 months ago

Marion is lame, and Lawrence certainly doesn't need a chain BBQ joint. As you can see by the plethora of positive comments, Vermont Street served tasty food in a great location. Believe me, they are not closing b/c of lack of business. Sometimes, it's just time to move on...

pizzapete 5 years, 4 months ago

I am going to miss Vermont St. too. I liked their product, but always thought they would be better off serving it in a cafeteria style like Arthur Bryants. Just line up at the counter and pay the lady at the register, no waiting at all. I also miss Quicks BBQ I thought they were fast and great quality. I talked to the owner of Quicks days after they celebrated their 10 anniversary in Lawrence and he indicated they were closing because the car dealer offered so much money he could not refuse. I imagine this could be the case here. Marion is right though that the real potential is for the grandfathered liquor license.

unelectable 5 years, 4 months ago

I remember when they delivered from the vermont location. nothing like getting a pound of brisket and an order of fries brought to your front door. And the mac&cheese bytes are so strangely wonderful. I will miss it. And we don't need a Bryants. the only good one, and it's fantastic!, is the original one in downtown kc. The decades of seasoning those smokers have acquired is not something that can be successfully recreated.

Eric Holscher 5 years, 4 months ago

Sad times indeed. A personal favorite. They will be missed! What is the next best BBQ in town?

cms 5 years, 4 months ago

Owners of our beloved Vermont Street BBQ: PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE post the recipe for your mustard-based sauce which in my opinion when combined with the pulled pork sandwich is one of the best meals in Lawrence. I beg you, please post the recipe!

VS BBQ, you will be missed. Alot.

bill_priff 5 years, 4 months ago

"The location is valuable only because it is “grandfathered” in under city code as a drinking establishment without the idiotic, “Progressive” mandated food requirement. Yet another Rundlebungle."

You have no idea what you are talking about Marion. It predates Rundle or the PLC. It has always been supported under the guise of preventing downtown from turning into aggieville, but was put in place to protect the interests of the bar owners at the time that it was implemented. I've always heard that it was the brainchild of Doug Compton, who owned some downtown bars at the time.

maxcrabb 5 years, 4 months ago

Well, I know what's for lunch and dinner tomorrow...

Bob Forer 5 years, 4 months ago

I don't, for one minute, believe the owner's cited reasons for closing up shop. Of course, I don't expect any rational person, under these circumstances, to tell the truth.

"Yeah, we're closing because the place is leaking major league cash. I made a big mistake in expanding from my modest beginnings, especially given the mediocre food I serve up. I guess i got too greedy. Now, I am hoping some sap will come along and buy me out"

Sorry, all, but those of you who liked the place need to find some self-rerspect. It was mediocre. And so what if it was packed on gamedays. So is every other mediocre establishment.

Viable and worthy restaurants in town pull in one to two hundred thousand in profit. And that's enough coin to hire and train a professional manager for 45G a year, and retain a tidy sum as a passive investor.

Darwin strikes again. .

maxcrabb 5 years, 4 months ago

TheSychophant... it's one thing to dislike a particular restaurant. But don't tell me I lack self respect because of where I choose to eat BBQ.

All of your intelligent remarks were rendered mute by your personal attack on what is a free choice for Lawrence citizens.

(don't even make me invoke the "if you serve Free State beer you are automatically awesome" rule, because I know people agree with me)

OldEnuf2BYurDad 5 years, 4 months ago

The more I think about this, the less sense it makes. He "wanted" to close right when someone was eager to take over the space? It's "viable", but instead of selling it before closing it, he's just shutting the doors? That restaurant could have been sold - even if they lost their lease. Who wouldn't do that?

There's more to this story.

geekin_topekan 5 years, 4 months ago

Shad, I brought my mom in a couple of years ago because she really wanted to meet you. I am the homeless guy that you used to feed once in a while, in back on VT.

After I sobered up and my mom started coming to visit me again, we sat and had a chat about life on the street and I told her how the people of this city would not let a person go hungry and she seemed intrigued by the fact that many restaurateurs were willing to extend a bite to us homeless types once in a while. I told her about VT BBQ.

"Let's go there!" she blurted, " I will give that man my business"

Well, when I asked for you the barkeep said you were out. Mom was terribly disappointed but to tell you truth, I am sure you were spared an awkward moment (mom's are like that I guess). But we had a nice dinner and when she paid the tab, she paid her eternal gratitude I imagine.

Have a blast in grad school and you have my eternal gratitude as well. Peace.

Bob Forer 5 years, 4 months ago

Marion, re: the Paradise, figure it out.

A Lawrence institution for over a decade. All it took was for the original owners to cash out (and deservedly so) and in the period of one short year, that Skyler guy runs it into the ground.

Darwin strikes again.

The level of incompetence nceessary to destroy an established restaurant with an established menu and customer base is absolutely mind boggliong.

more_cowbell 5 years, 4 months ago

Schadenfreude much, Marion? Guess you dodged a bullet ripping up that lease before the big bad Mass. St. monster gobbled you up (and inevitably spit you out). Sure you don't want to give it a go with that grandfathered alcohol license? If you don't want to bring your business downtown, of course, there's rumors of new strip malls out Wakarusa way.

Signed, loyal Free State patron

KSGraphicsguy 5 years, 4 months ago

I am just disappointed to see another Lawrence business go down the tubes. You guys should cut him some slack he did not have to give them any severance pay and he did not have to give them notice he was closing. I wondered about the place because I had lunch there a couple of times last month and business seemed slow. The food was great but my service was slow, just because your a pretty girl do not expect me to tip you If I have to beg you to refill my drink.

Kaplow 5 years, 4 months ago

Wow - Whoever Marion is, this person is delusional. It will be recalled? Your words will be recalled by whom? Oh Marionostradamus, please tell me the future of other local lawrence businesses.. What is to come of Rudy's by the slice? Or Freestate beer? Will Tellers be the next to go? I must know, pleeeeeeeeease I beg you mighty farsighted one! The truth is that last thing Lawrence needed when VSTBBQ went into the ole Paradise (Ruby Trout/Breakfast Enchiladas - YUM) space was another crappy whole in the wall bar with "some snacks", if you recall someone tried that for a bit in that space after Paradise went down.

Vermont St. is awesome and I will be eating there tomorrow and the next day, while praying that no one is tampering with the food over losing their job.

PS.. KSChick1 - Either you have no taste buds or you are related to Bob Scum, EVERY BBQ lover in Lawrence appreciates Vermont St. Looks like a trip to KC for decent BBQ now, Buffalo Bobs is a joke and a remodel isn't gonna help the food.

Bladerunner 5 years, 4 months ago

Great...that leaves only Buffalo Chip Bob's for downtown barbque. They have really gone downhill.

SpiritTat 5 years, 4 months ago

I feel bad for the employees; and for dowtown Lawrence: things like this worry me about the 'robustness' (or lack thereof) with L-town's downtown scene.

It'd still be great if they'd bring back the Paradise though

igby 5 years, 4 months ago

Gessssssszzzzzzzz!

The Paradise Cafe, had over 70 employees. Way too many employees and not enough workers! Too much of a social gathering circus of non productive show ups, and as a regular patron daily, it was still hard to get waited on sometimes.

Food was good though, never could figure why they would just close up during the middle of the afternoon and then reopen at 6 pm.. They lost a lot of business for late lunch and business clients who would go to the Eldridge instead.

Then it slipped and got run into the ground!

KEITHMILES05 5 years, 4 months ago

VB has declined over the past few years. They used to be really tasty but I have stopped going. I won't miss them.

jayhawkerincali 5 years, 4 months ago

I was fortunate enough to work at Vermont St. BBQ for awhile, and honestly, I will NEVER work another place like that again. Everything about it was so tight knit and it was such a family environment between all the employees. Shad is a great, great guy, and I wish him much luck with what he does after this. I'm just sad I am 2,000 miles away and can't come in for one more brisket sandwich and Bloody Mary. RIP V-Street.

JasonParker 5 years, 4 months ago

I have grown up here in Lawrence, and it amazes me how many people think that places like Biggs, Vermont Street, Buffalo Bobs and Biemers are "good bbq". They dont even have real pit smokers. Gran-Daddy's BBQ is the only one in town with a REAL pit smoker. All the rest in my opinion is just tasteless meat with nasty sauce on it. If you want real bbq go to 19th and Haskell to Gran-Daddy's. They've been in Lawrence for almost 15 years. And a funny thing is, people who were born and raised on Arthur Bryant's and Gates and all those other places come to Lawrence from Kansas City and Topeka for BBQ! Its the best in Lawrence and I'd go as far as to say the region.

JasonParker 5 years, 4 months ago

And as for kaplow saying "every bbq lover in Lawrence appreciates Vermont St". No that is false information. I have ATLEAST 5 people a day say how bad they thought it was.

JasonParker 5 years, 4 months ago

And as for the owner, thats a little selfish not giving people enough warning. With the way the job market and economy are, and you are taking bill money away from these peoples families, you are taking food out of their childrens mouths. In a way i thought it kind of good news that the bbq competition was slimming down, then after thinking about how many people just lost their jobs, he couldnt have picked a worse time to do it, and it seems like its for the simple fact that hes bored.

fearsadness14 5 years, 4 months ago

This is awful, awful news!!!! I love those wings!

ohgeeze 5 years, 4 months ago

This stinks...they had the best BBQ....I would gladly hire all the staff to come cook at my place!!

Jacob Kucza 5 years, 4 months ago

This is most likely as close as I will get to making the millionth comment. Darn.

Joe Hyde 5 years, 4 months ago

I can understand why VSBBQ moved into the larger place on Massachusetts St. New small business does well, owners want to grow into larger business in bigger location, etc.

Still, for me VSBBQ lost a lot of its charm when it moved from Vermont St. and became essentially another conventional downtown sit-down restaurant. I just liked it lots better back when it was a tiny little cubby hole joint selling fantastic-tasting food. The place had kind of a "barbeque head shop" atmosphere about it, back then.

royalcatfan 5 years, 4 months ago

Not a huge loss. There service was so-so and their BBQ was any better than an Applebees or Chilis

mom_of_three 5 years, 4 months ago

I will miss their sweet smoked pepper salad dressing.

Although I have eaten Gran Daddys and usually agree that they are good, they weren't the last time I ate there. Not good at all. I was disappointed.
But then we had vermont street, and they were better, but still, under par.
Had some great bbq at the Fall art in the park. wish they had a restaurant.
Okay, now I am hungry for some ribs

ivalueamerica 5 years, 4 months ago

I will miss them, at least who they were because as they grew, they lost something of what made them great.

freestatehawk 5 years, 4 months ago

Since others here have brought it up, was Buffalo Bobs ever anywhere close to halfway decent? Some ten years or so ago my girlfriend seemed to like the place. I tried it probably three times and if anything was edible, it was only due to lack of taste; like tofu covered with bbq sauce. Most of it was much worse. I used to enjoy Mass St. Deli but had to quit going there just due to the association.

mr_right_wing 5 years, 4 months ago

Just think how well the place would have done if all those people driving back and forth on Vermont Street would have realized Vermont Street BBQ had moved to Mass Street! Just too confusing for some.....

Paradise? That place deserved to go out of business! Roaches, poor food and no service....if the lack of customers hadn't shut them down the health department probably would have. How about bringing back Tin Pan Alley!

Boston_Corbett 5 years, 4 months ago

Because if I want business advice, I turn to a failure like Marion Lynn....

Confrontation 5 years, 4 months ago

Vermont Street BBQ had the worst beef that I've ever had. I won't miss them at all.

alchemist 5 years, 4 months ago

Wow. This was probably the best BBQ in town. I wonder what happened that made him decide to close so soon. I mean he gave the staff less than a week's notice? He had to have known he was going to close for awhile. WHY wait this long to tell your staff, especially in this economy when finding another job may not be all that easy.

quelestvotrenom 5 years, 4 months ago

So so sad... I'll miss the smell of BBQ on Mass. St.

Dayna Lee 5 years, 4 months ago

Really, I think things just changed when they got into the fight with Kent. He did alot of the work for a lot of years and had to make ends meet. I think taking him off and changing his son on the mural was a cry that they couldn't look him in the face after what they did. I wish them all the luck but realize these are just people in it for their own sake. May karma be with them as they move on.

Dust481 5 years, 4 months ago

Man everybody needs to stop making assumptions because you have no idea what is happening. I am one of the people that are unemployed because of this... I may have served you.. ;) But as far as the people bashing Shad (the owner) just mind your business please. I have never worked for a better person and have loved every minute of the year and a half I have worked there. Thanks Shad. You know who it is brother :)

Dust481 5 years, 4 months ago

And the place is not gone because we didn't make enough money.. I don't know where that came from.

Dust481 5 years, 4 months ago

LMAO! Dayna38 what are you talking about?! Honestly. That is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard. Like I said nobody knows a damn thing so just stop assuming.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 5 years, 4 months ago

I think the place closed because of that silly hat Dust481 used to wear when he wasn't working. It was bad...in a bad way!~)

Seriously... That place was great as far as I'm concerned and the rest of you SASSoles' opinions just smell like SASS!~)

I love all of you VSBers. You can come live at my house until you get back on your feet!~)

Ryan Neuhofel 5 years, 4 months ago

someone says, "sweet smoked pepper salad dressing."

No true 'Q joint has any type of salad or salad dressing. . . . VS BBQ was shut down by the BBQ gods for offending them.

countrygirl 5 years, 4 months ago

I'll miss their wings, but we go to Biggs for BBQ--if we don't make it ourselves.

cowboy 5 years, 4 months ago

I tried them and was very underwhelmed , food was dry and service really poor.

bretherite 5 years, 4 months ago

I miss good BBQ. VSBBQ was good. California has no clue what BBQ is and we can't anything close to VS or Biggs out here. VS was a place we loved to visit when we were back on vacation. Another one bites the dust. But good for the owner to follow his heart and do what he wants. Life is too short.

peace2u 5 years, 4 months ago

Grand-Daddy's has the best BBQ sauce in the world!

Sigmund 5 years, 4 months ago

cowboy (Anonymous) says… "I tried them and was very underwhelmed , food was dry and service really poor."

That was my experience. Still can't we start a countdown with prizes?

KSChick1 5 years, 4 months ago

um yeah, I am not bashing the place, just stating my experiences with it...cold brisket, cold fries, plain white bread, cold ribs, tasteless ribs unless slathered in sauce...none of which turn me on. And the waitstaff was sorely lacking in service skills. Took 10 minutes to get a menu, took 10 more minutes to get anybody to take an order, waited and waited for cold food... that's my experience! So, if you like it and had good food and good service, great. I have heard more complaints than compliments over the years. I've eaten at Biggs which was pretty good, hot food, good service, and at Biemer's, good hot food but they ran out of meat. Buffalo Bob's (and no, I'm not related to him you idiot) is so-so, if you don't mind drowning their ribs or brisket in sauce. I loved Quick's and am a huge fan of Arthur Bryant's. Other than that, I do my own with my own dry rub and I make my own bbq sauce with my father's recipe. So stick that in your smoker!

woodenfleaeater 5 years, 4 months ago

KSChick1.....Let me get this straight: You make your own rub and your own sauce from your father's recipe, and your father was Buffalo Bob?

yalebaker 5 years, 4 months ago

Shad and I were on our way back from Madison Wisconsin after watching the 'Hawks beat Oregon in the round of 8 in the NCAA tournament when we decided to open up a BBQ shop. We had lots of fun and what a challenge! I'm like Shad, I've really missed the employees the most. I don't think we would have made it without Kent Lee and James Patterson, they were committed! The restaurant business is tough and I understand that Shad wants to try something else, but it is sad to see it end. We only wanted to run a business in Lawrence that the locals would be proud of.

darthvedder 5 years, 4 months ago

Kansas City style BBQ (I'm including Lawrence here) is the worst of the recognized BBQ styles (Carolina, Texas, Memphis, etc). So arguing about the best BBQ in the KC area is like arguing about who was the most talented Backstreet Boy.

That said, the only legitimate BBQ restaurant in this town in Gran-Daddy's - A father, his son, and their smoker. Unlike every other place in Larry, Gran-Daddy's Q needs no sauce and their sausages are AWESOME, rather than the out of the package, flavorless Johnsonville crap served everywhere else. Vermont Street was decent, white people BBQ; Biggs is indiscernible from a chain (not to mention the biggest, literally, culinary poser in town runs or ran the kitchen); and Bob's must be a front for something because they can not be making money.

Having spent 20 years in the restaurant business, working from busboy to GM and everything in between, everywhere from Kansas to New York to New Orleans, I can tell you with all confidence anytime an owner, investor, chef or general manager speaks of their restaurant closing in any terms other than "We f'd up", they are lying. Successful, "viable", restaurants do not close this way (four days from the announcement, one week severance). Would you uproot the money tree growing in your backyard or would you hire someone to water it for you even if it meant getting a smaller cut of the cash crop?

The restaurant business is simple - Good food, good service, consistency, and value. If Krause can charge a minimum of $7.00 for a burger, not including fries or a drink (Their average check must approach $12-15.00 per customer) in this economy, off Mass, and be successful, then a long(er) established, supposedly beloved Lawrence institution can surely stay in business regardless of what new directions the owner wants to take his personal life. There comes a point in a profitable, "viable", businesses lifespan where the owner - the business - needs to give back. One week's notice and one week's severance is BS. If I worked at Vermont Street, I'd be stealing everything not nailed down, coming back with my pry bar, and taking the nailed down stuff too. Shame on Shad.

MyName 5 years, 4 months ago

Marion writes:

He's broke, stupid. Figure it out

Or really? Did he show you the books or are you using your psychic powers to tell us this?

And he owns the building moron. So why did you even make that BS statement about the rent? RTFA!

Your claim about how a "viable" business would find a seller may be true in normal economic conditions, but if he can't find a buyer because no one wants to start a new business venture in the worst economy since the depression, then this is exactly what would happen.

MyName 5 years, 4 months ago

@darthvedder:

I don't think we care about your opinions on BBQ. I know it can be almost a holy war in some circles, but the quality of the food is almost always only a portion of the quality of the restaurant. I'm sure there are BBQ aficionados who can make ribs in their backyards that are better than any place in Lawrence, but I bet they still eat out occasionally.

Successful, “viable”, restaurants do not close this way (four days from the announcement, one week severance). Would you uproot the money tree growing in your backyard or would you hire someone to water it for you even if it meant getting a smaller cut of the cash crop?

I don't know the facts intimately, but I will give you this scenario to think over:

1) He owns the building. 2) He can't find a buyer that he thinks will do a good job (because this is the worst economy since the depression). 3) He can find someone who is willing to rent to him at the start of the next month. 4) He decides to lease the building now, whether than spend an indeterminate amount of time trying to find a buyer.

Or he could just be lying about the reasons for closing for no reason at all and only you, and a select number of posters on a message board, are smart enough to see it.

Which makes the most sense to you?

Evan Ridenour 5 years, 4 months ago

" Marion (Marion Lynn) says… He's broke, stupid.

Figure it out"

Marion (Marion Lynn) says… I was 100% correct on my predictions for this business and you may well bend over and kiss my Heinie a **


My response: Don't let a little thing called facts get you down. All of the facts that are known publicly say that the restaurant was not financially failing much less in such a sorry financial state that it had to be closed immediately. But I guess rather than waiting to find out more facts you would just prefer to spam us with your opinion and phrase it as a fact when it is obvious to everyone else around you that you know nothing about what you are talking about. Not just about information specifically related to this restaurant but also general business knowledge.

There are plenty of legitimate business reasons to close in this manner and if you were even 1/100th of the business guru you act like you are I am sure you could think of one of them.

In your own words Marion...

We all think you're a joke stupid,

Figure it out.

yalebaker 5 years, 4 months ago

Not so sure this Marion guy is a great business man, which probably explains why I have never heard of him. He laments about not being able to hammer out a deal with the old Paradise owners and having to rip up a contract! Guess what, they weren't holding any cards. Considering that no rent had been paid on 728 Mass for months, we simply went to the Hetzels and signed a lease on a vacant building. If you would have thought of that you would now be holding a grandfathered, no food sales required, liquor license on Mass Street like my man Shad. Good luck in your future business ventures though.

parlet 5 years, 4 months ago

Why so excited over a restaurant closing, Marion? I suspect that this is yet another downtown bar/coffeehouse/restaurant that has insisted that Marion take his business elsewhere.

geekin_topekan 5 years, 4 months ago

Is it just me or does every thread concerning, business, toontown politics, or liquor, somehow, get Marion dragged into the middle of it and one-three people digging up dirt on the old man and while he flingeth virtual fecal material back?

I have never met the man and have neither disdain nor particular love for him on this board. It would seem as though we are witnessing an old feud or bad blood from many years ago.

I just thought Id mention it. Nothing more. Carry on.

Katara 5 years, 4 months ago

geekin_topekan (Anonymous) says… Is it just me or does every thread concerning, business, toontown politics, or liquor, somehow, get Marion dragged into the middle of it and one-three people digging up dirt on the old man and while he flingeth virtual fecal material back?

I have never met the man and have neither disdain nor particular love for him on this board. It would seem as though we are witnessing an old feud or bad blood from many years ago.

I just thought Id mention it. Nothing more. Carry on. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I don't know about an old feud or bad blood but the old man always inserts himself into it and then others respond to his BS and lies.

Of course, LJW will do nothing to discipline their favorite monkey as they are mistaken in the belief that his behavior increases views.

Dayna Lee 5 years, 4 months ago

DUST481- If you don't know what I'm talking about, ask someone that's worked there longer than you. It's insulting what the owner did. I still come in sometimes because let's face it- I love the turkey legs. I didn't even cause a scene when there was a hair on mine the last time I ate there. Ask the skinny kid that serves on Sundays. Good luck to you and all your coworkers. Karma is a weird thing. They're obviously selling to move onto something new, that's not a bad thing. Maybe.

Dayna Lee 5 years, 4 months ago

Yalebaker- Thank you for the well deserved nod. Good luck to you too with whatever life is bringing you. Kent has a new baby girl just a fyi. I didn't mean anything bad by the hair comment. It really did happen.

feeble 5 years, 4 months ago

I'm fairly certain he's left the thread, but JasonParker's observation that folks from KC come to Larry for BBQ doesn't hold water (or sauce, if you prefer). Folks from KC hit up LC's, Oklahoma Joes, Jack Stack or any of the other 40+ BBQ joints before making the trip out to Lawrence for mid-quality smoked meats, if only because the portions are better smoked, larger, better priced and closer to home.

Also, I don't know why anyone even attempts to argue with Marion on downtown store fronts going out of business.

I mean, none of us have had to close up shop on Mass due to poor planning or lack of business acumen. Of course, most of us also have the sense not to try and run a recycling business out of 10th and Mass.

JasonParker 5 years, 4 months ago

By saying people come from KC to Lawrence to get bbq at Gran-Daddy's I dont mean everyone in KC, but we do have a rather large following of well over 100 people that come in on a regular basis from kansas city saying that they came down JUST for our bbq

headdoctor 5 years, 4 months ago

Marion (Marion Lynn) says… Oh, darn! I forgot the cost of the domains. About a buck apiece.


Being a good customer of the likes of Go Daddy and such other online sites doesn't reveal entrepreneurial genius.


Marion writes: Feeble, the 10th and Mass location was only the startup.


Regardless of future plans. Most grade school students could figure out that a Mass Street frontage is not large enough or set up to handle the amount of materials it would take to succeed in almost any sort or recycling operation.

BTW, just how does a pawn shop fail?

sinverguenza 5 years, 4 months ago

Sad stuff. Not that it's the best BBQ in the world, but it was decent and priced fairly and definitely the only BBQ worth tasting on Mass (no love for you, Mr. Schumm!). I wonder if it'll be too packed to get in to this weekend; I'd like to have one last smoked bloody mary.

Evan Ridenour 5 years, 4 months ago

"Marion (Marion Lynn) says… I notice that the detractors rarely argue against the facts I present and immediately resort to Ad Hominem, or personal attacks."


My response: We rarely argue against your "facts" because they aren't actually facts. It is your opinion phrased as a fact. People don't debate them with you because everyone else here isn't completely delusional and is aware of how asinine your statements are.

Only a crazy person would sit there and debate a "fact" that everyone knows isn't a fact with someone that is delusional enough to act this way in the first place.

How bout we list some actual facts so maybe you can learn to tell the difference. You have had to file for bankruptcy, you have had many failed business models, you claim you were involved in an in depth negotiation for this location yet you didn't even know the correct address or the name of the owner, you know nothing about this issue that wasn't published in the article, and you are a gigantic ass.

I think I will let my opinion be formed on the basis of actual facts about this issue instead of basing it off of the ramblings (and potentially slanderous statements) of an individual whose own publicly known background has shown to be a delusional ass with zero business sense.

TheGreatOz 5 years, 4 months ago

What if the owner got a little incentive from the incoming business?

I've eaten there once. Food was great, service was horrible. Apparently, if you're female, you pretty much get ignored if there are guys in the place.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 4 months ago

I LOL when the Beast with Nine Fingers starts giving advice on running a business in Lawrence.....

headdoctor 5 years, 4 months ago

Marion (Marion Lynn) says… Tryin as you are to make this thread about me, we're not going to do that. I'm not going to play that game. The thread is about a buisness mysteriously closing; a business which is “viable”(?) and yet it's employees are basically being tossed into the street. I think I'll spend a bit of time doing some investigating; a few phone calls here, an email or two there and I suspect I'll get to the bottom of it. And I will let you know. Enjoy that great big boat, ya hear?


Good lord Marion. The only thing here larger than stupidity is the ability to display it. It is a privately owned business. Last time I knew anything about it they do not need you or anyone else to approve or disapprove of their closing.

It may not be much but how often do employees get anything from a closed restaurant except directions to the door? They are at least getting a weeks severance pay. It may not be the best but they are hardly being tossed into the street.

headdoctor 5 years, 4 months ago

Marion (Marion Lynn) says… Tryin as you are to make this thread about me, we're not going to do that. I'm not going to play that game.


You funny. Most of the posters here don't want to make any thread about you. You insert yourself into them with outrageous and or ridiculous statements and then whine about personal attacks when they call you on it.

bluedawg79 5 years, 4 months ago

I had my last meal there Wednesday. It was packed took forever to get my food but darn it was tasty! Definitely will miss it!

amyroller 5 years, 4 months ago

This is very sad news to me.

I was one of the first crew of servers when VSB moved to Mass Street. I worked there for a few years... up until I graduated and moved out of Kansas in '06. I have to say, though, VSB has always had a very special place in my heart. The owners from the start were always 100% supportive of their employees. We were a family and took care of each other-- whether business was good or bad. And we had a lot of fun along the way too!

Yale-- it's good to hear your voice out there.

Kent -- congrats on the new addition to your family!

Jordan-- congrats on the marriage... law school yet? :)

James -- hope you're flying high!

Shad-- I think graduate school sounds wonderful! I could care less what the "real reason" is behind all of this. You were an amazing boss and an even more amazing person. (And I know you could care less what all of these people say or think anyway... haha) Good luck to you!!

To the rest of my VSB family-- I miss you all and hope you're well.

RIP VSB.

parlet 5 years, 4 months ago

Marian writes: "There most certainly is something going on in the background here and I'm going to do rattling around in the underbrush to see what comes running out."

Parlet writes: Now there you go getting all excited again, Marian. Honestly, the delight you take in your impotent muck-raking makes me believe you get some kind of sexual jolly from it. The only thing rattling around in the underbrush is you.

BMI 5 years, 4 months ago

Mark Harmon, star of NCIS is actually one month to the day older than me and no one calls him an “old gal”.

Comparing thy self to a Hollywood actor, the most illuminating and effective plan of undercutting the opponent.

headdoctor 5 years, 4 months ago

parlet (Anonymous) says… Marian writes: “There most certainly is something going on in the background here and I'm going to do rattling around in the underbrush to see what comes running out.” Parlet writes: Now there you go getting all excited again, Marian. Honestly, the delight you take in your impotent muck-raking makes me believe you get some kind of sexual jolly from it. The only thing rattling around in the underbrush is you.


Yup but he is doing it all wrong. Marion jumped for the saddle and the saddle wasn't there. Blank blank LALALALALA. Oh the old Grey mare, she ain't what she use to be. Whoops, wrong song. The old Grey Goose, she ain't what she use to be. roflamao.

Katara 5 years, 4 months ago

ironhorse66 (Anonymous) says… and why wouldn't the city put the old gal on the site? I know, but would like to hear “the other” side of the story. ~~~~~~~~~~ Do tell. >:)

headdoctor 5 years, 4 months ago

Marion always wants answers out of everyone else but wont answer questions himself. I am still waiting as to how the pawn shop failed?

Katara 5 years, 4 months ago

Marion (Marion Lynn) says…

Tryin as you are to make this thread about me, we're not going to do that.

I'm not going to play that game.

The thread is about a buisness mysteriously closing; a business which is “viable”(?) and yet it's employees are basically being tossed into the street.

I think I'll spend a bit of time doing some investigating; a few phone calls here, an email or two there and I suspect I'll get to the bottom of it.

And I will let you know.

Enjoy that great big boat, ya hear? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ For someone who claims not to make a thread about himself, you sure use the pronoun "I" quite a bit.

There is no mystery. The man wants to do something else. People do that all the time and there is nothing wrong with it.

Why don't you tell us why your "viable" pawn shop went under? It takes a lot of work to make a pawn shop unprofitable.

Katara 5 years, 4 months ago

parlet (Anonymous) says…

Marian writes: “There most certainly is something going on in the background here and I'm going to do rattling around in the underbrush to see what comes running out.”

Parlet writes: Now there you go getting all excited again, Marian. Honestly, the delight you take in your impotent muck-raking makes me believe you get some kind of sexual jolly from it. The only thing rattling around in the underbrush is you. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ More like slithering through the sewer when it comes to Marion.

svenway_park 5 years, 4 months ago

Marion has some business experience. Want to learn about his internet "business?" Replace the '###' in the link with 'hit' and read away:

http://www.blackhatworld.com/blackhat-seo/s###-list/55889-scammed-uptownbulker.html

Katara 5 years, 4 months ago

Marion (Marion Lynn) says… It's OK for anyone to investigate Marion but my how they whine and squirm when I investigate them.

Heh, heh.

Turnabout be all kinds of fair play, I think; don't you?

And “Parlet”; that's “MariOn”, not “MariAn”.

English a second language for you?

I'm bettin' tax issues figure in here and will get back to on this in a day or so. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It is only turnabout if the owner(s) of Vermont Street BBQ were the ones posting your background.

Otherwise it is just a sad old man trying to smear people he envies for actually having successful businesses and lives.

The old Grey Goose, he ain't what he used to be.

Katara 5 years, 4 months ago

Marion (Marion Lynn) says… There is some payback comin'………………… ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/7603/fegbqhjpg.gif

Katara 5 years, 4 months ago

Marion (Marion Lynn) says… Marion writes:

Are you really that stupid or are you just pretending?

“Slander”?

I think that you mean “Libel” and it won't work.

Internet neurality and all that.

Besides, I have only asked questions and there ain't no law against asklng questions.

When I gets the answers, and I will; I gots sources; I will post the answers.

And where do you get this “old gal* biosolids?

You some kind of a pervert? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ http://img22.imageshack.us/img22/5985/inettoughguy.jpg

Katara 5 years, 4 months ago

Marion (Marion Lynn) says… Naw, Katara; I just do my homework.

And this looks like fun.

Everyone likes to have fun, right? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ http://img38.imageshack.us/img38/2694/askmybutt.jpg

Evan Ridenour 5 years, 4 months ago

I actually know it is a lie Marion. Because unlike you, I actually possess factual information about this subject.

However, that doesn't even matter. The biggest enemy for your lies is yourself. No one who was in serious negotiations to lease a major downtown property would forget the properties address and the owner they were negotiating with. That is just absurd. It isn't even remotely believable.

You already defeated your own position. The burden of proof is on you. Prove your factual statements.. err... opinions... err... completely fabricated BS is true or stop whining when we call you out.

Stop being jealous. Just because a respected business man who has contributed greatly to this community choose voluntarily to sell his business to pursue new opportunities when you can't manage to keep even a pawn shop open doesn't justify your defamation. Maybe instead of spending so much time trying to tear other people down you should dedicate your time to attempting to build a legitimate business model.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 4 months ago

"Marion (Marion Lynn) says… There is some payback comin'…………………"

We've

heard

that

song

before

.

More

empty

threats

.

Still

having

a

wonderful

internet

life

.

Mike Wagner 5 years, 4 months ago

Every BBQ joint in this town undercooks everything! Stopped even trying a long time ago. A Jackstack or a Arthur Bryants would be great!!!

svenway_park 5 years, 4 months ago

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

Katara 5 years, 4 months ago

Multidisciplinary (Anonymous) says… /is that video out yet? ;) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Sure is and Marion will sell you an exclusive copy of it for only $650. You can use paypal or google checkout to make your purchase.

Sunny Parker 5 years, 4 months ago

Their food was horrible anyway! Service sucked too!

KSChick1 5 years, 4 months ago

nope, whoever owns BB's is not my dad and I'm not sure why I keep being asked/accused of being related to the owner. I make my own dry rub by modifying a recipe I found on the internet, and years ago my dad made his own bbq sauce, which is a recipe I begged him for this summer when he was here for a visit. I guess the guy who owns Buffalo Bob's is related to half this town since if you complain about Vermont St. bbq, you get accused of being related to the owner of BB's. Huh. Wierd. FAIL!

puddleglum 5 years, 4 months ago

vermont st has the best wings in town. sausage is great as is brisket and turkey and the pork sandwich is wonderful. Shad is a great guy. food always awesome, service typically poor. Especially the explanation on why you get sharged twice for fries-possibly the most messed up side menu on the planet. but the food was always great. buffalo bob's? I found a nut and bolt inside my sandwich in 1994, and a roach smashed and stuck to the bottom of the salt shaker in 1991. Not that great. beimer's? pretty good, I eat there once a week. found a rock in my sandwich once, and the owner asked me what I wanted (?)... I said I didn't need anything, just thought he should like to know what his meat provider is selling him. He started charging me for more than two cups of bbq sauce! (always need more-cuz they are typically only half-full.) nicest owner in town? -greg keenan, papa kenos.

I thought marioni took over the jayhawk pawn on 6th street? didn't his pawn shop buy out the 6th street location? I so confused.

Katara 5 years, 4 months ago

Multidisciplinary (Anonymous) says… Doh, silly me..of course! I was thinking more like spankwire. Thanks! What's the name of it? I'll see if I can pick one up at a garage sale some time. Or I'm sure one of these guys will buy it & dup it. Market it as Fight Club II. :) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The working title right now is: Nick Danger - the story of the Grey Goose who ain't what he used to be and now is trying desperately to recapture what he believes are his glory days.

It is a bit long but Spamalot was already taken. :(

And you aren't supposed to talk about Fight Club.

igby 5 years, 4 months ago

"A smoked bloody Mary", just saw this in their window. This is after the Nuns beat the witch and burn her at the stake I suppose! Lol.

Marion, Katara, Multi:

There's been so many business on Mass. close with short notice. Everyone has their breaking point, it's all in the numbers and bottom line. Even businesses that you think are doing well; the bottom line is shrinking and the writings on the wall for another year of despair.

Timing is important, advertising is done yearly in the phone books. It's expensive now in Lawrence, to keep three telephone book companies paid for yellow pages listings.

Lawrence, does not need three dam books to begin with. It's a waste of valuable expenses to run adds in three books, PDC, YellowBook and ATT/South Western Bell. A waste of paper and trees.

It's that time again to make that Add decision.Knowing when to close and count your losses is sometimes a virtue that some business owners lack (like the former Paradise Cafe), before they end up bankrupt.

All business deserve a smooth exit offten times the employees are discarded, but that's a small risk for them considering the investment it takes to make someone a job. Its not easy making jobs.

Businesses in Lawrence, needs to gang up on these telephone book companies and just say no and get rid of some of them. Yellow Book is print is so small you need a spot light and corrective lens to just see the telephone numbers. Why would anyone use this book for anything but a door stop.

PDC, pushed their way into the Lawrence, market place because the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce invited them here and is backing them with a good ole boy gravy train of businesses. They are the largest violators breaking all the rules of marketing. If a business refused to run and add, they just made up an add and phone number without the businesses consent and ran it anyway. The telephone number for the business was not their number and the number was directed to their phone line without the businesses consent or knowledge. The second year, if the business still did not run an add with their phone book they disconnected the phone number and everyone that picked up last years PDC book called a number that was disconnected. What a bunch of A**Holes. PDC needs to be Kicked out of Lawrence, because the violated the federal Law in their push into Lawrence, market place.

svenway_park 5 years, 4 months ago

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

svenway_park 5 years, 4 months ago

wow. Someone is getting itchy with the "suggest removal" button. All I did was suggest a business which is needed in downtown. So what if it involves the sale of ATM cards and paypal accounts?

Maybe too much Grey Goose last night?

always4ever 5 years, 4 months ago

Does anyone know where to get smoked chicken wings now?

llama726 5 years, 4 months ago

Marion.... What business do you own in Lawrence? Feel free to message me if you want instead.

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