Archive for Friday, August 12, 2011

Town Talk: Grinding out more details on Dillons; Civil War events and what Lawrence ought to do to mark a tragic anniversary; Downtown Lawrence planning shopping event

August 12, 2011


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News and notes from around town:

• Mark it down: A peanut butter grinding machine. I’ve been covering this plan for Dillons to tear down its existing store at 1740 Mass. and replace it with a new larger, more modern store for months now. But this is the first I have heard about a peanut butter grinding machine. As we previously reported, Saturday will be the last day for Dillons’ old store on Massachusetts Street. But now Dillons is providing additional information about the closing and what is to come. First, about the discounts. (In my house, you start all conversations about food with a discount. Full price is fool price, according to my wife.) Dillons spokeswoman Sheila Lowrie said the store won’t start discounting items until Saturday, and only on an as-needed basis in order to move the merchandise. She also confirmed the store will shut down at 6 p.m. on Saturday. She also said work continues on a temporary pharmacy location at 1901 Mass. St. Plans call for the pharmacy to open on Sunday. Hours for the temporary pharmacy will be 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday.

But now that we’ve got all that information about life-saving drugs out of the way, let me tell you about the really important enhancement — a peanut butter grinding machine. The store will feature a section where you can buy unpackaged items in bulk. Including, apparently, peanuts. And then right next to that will be a peanut butter grinding machine. I really don’t have any idea why this fascinates me so. Yes, I’m sure there are probably peanut butter grinding machines elsewhere in Lawrence, and they have just been hidden from me. They probably don’t accept coupons, and thus they’re forever dead to my wife and chief shopper.

Anyway, here are some other details about what the new store will include:

  1. A deli that will feature made-to-order gourmet sandwiches, Chinese food, frozen drinks, fried chicken and fresh sushi;
  2. A salad and soup bar;
  3. A Starbucks coffee shop;
  4. An indoor and outdoor dining area with wireless Internet access;
  5. A gourmet cheese shop and olive bar;
  6. A larger organic foods section, including a Nature’s Market area that will sell “natural remedies.”
  7. An expanded bakery;
  8. A full service flower department;
  9. An expanded pharmacy with a drive-thru lane.

The new store will have about 100 to 120 employees, Lowrie said. The current store has about 70 employees. Lowrie said most of the store’s current employees will be transferred to Dillons’ other Lawrence stores on Sixth Street and 23rd Street.

Lowrie said the razing of the existing store won’t happen for a few more weeks, in order to give crews time to remove some pieces of equipment from the location. An opening date for the new store hasn’t been set, other than sometime in spring 2012.

• Civil War buffs will have plenty of opportunities to get out on the town in the near future. Thursday night, the Watkins Community Museum opened its new exhibit “It Happened on Mass Street: 150 Years in Lawrence.” The event displays artifacts and photographs from the city’s history. The event featured a talk from Civil War historian Martha Parker and local author Tom Mach.

Tonight from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. will be a special dinner at the Eldridge Hotel. The event will feature several actors portraying John Brown, Charles Robinson, Jim Lane, Abe and Mary Lincoln, Sheriff Sam Jones and others. The event also will include a display of an original U.S. Civil War Lincoln flag. The event is sold out. But I mention it anyway because it is part of the city’s Civil War on the Western Frontier Days. There are multiple events going on through Aug. 21, the date that Quantrill raided Lawrence in 1863. They include screenings of various movies related to the attack, walking tours, and even a roll call of the names of the victims of the attack. You can see all the events here.

Expect to hear more about Quantrill’s Raid in future months. As part of the 2012 budget city commissioners approved this week, there were instructions for the city staff to convene a group to discuss ways to recognize the 150th anniversary of the raid, which will be in 2013. In that budget, the city has indicated it is willing to spend some money — it didn’t specify an amount — on either an event, a piece of art, or some other way to mark the tragedy that forever shaped Lawrence. The city has money in its guest tax fund — a special tax charged to hotel and motel guests — that could be used to fund a commemoration. Now, city leaders need to decide what that will be.

• Speaking of events, Downtown Lawrence Inc. is working to get a couple of new ones off the ground. Downtown Lawrence Inc. is working with the Lawrence Memorial Hospital Endowment Association to sponsor a “shopping event” that will benefit Mario’s Closet, which is a specialty shop for cancer patients at LMH. The tentative date for the event is Oct. 13. The idea of the event is similar to the popular Mass Street Mosey, but shopping will be the focus instead of wine tasting. Stores throughout downtown will be encouraged to donate a designated percentage of sales from that night to Mario’s Closet. LMH and DLI will team up to market the event and offer some other attractions. DLI director Cathy Hamilton hopes to attract 1,000 shoppers to downtown on that Thursday evening.

Hamilton also is starting a new program aimed at providing education to downtown retailers. Hamilton hopes to have one continuing education class per month for downtown retailers who are members of DLI. The classes will include topics ranging from meaty finance issues to how to best create window displays. I’ll be taking part in the group’s next event at 8 a.m. on Tuesday at the DLI offices at 833 1/2 Mass. Myself and 6News’ Jesse Fray, along with Hamilton, will talk about how businesses can better interact with the media.


LJ Whirled 6 years, 6 months ago

An olive bar? Well, then ... I don't care WHAT way the door faces.

(an olive bar?)

kernal 6 years, 6 months ago

They have an olive bar at the 23rd St store and the Merc also has one.

dogsandcats 6 years, 6 months ago

The Dillons on 23rd St has a peanut butter grinding machine.

Jake Esau 6 years, 6 months ago

It does? I shop there regularly and don't remember seeing it...

Guess I need to look harder :-)

Chad Lawhorn 6 years, 6 months ago

See, see. What did I tell you. My wife has been hiding this information from me.

MISTERTibbs 6 years, 6 months ago

The 6th and Waki Dillons has one as well.

It's in the Health Market, or whatever they call it Jake.

drs331 6 years, 6 months ago

The peanut butter ginding machine at the Dillions on 23rd street actually grinds honey roasted peanuts rather than plain peanuts. Pretty tasty.....but I'm sure full of sugar. And...if anyone from Dillons is reading this...they don't provide a pen or marking system for the container, so you have to remember the code for checkout. God forbid you don't'll take them 10 minutes to figure it out what to do.

Belinda Rehmer 6 years, 6 months ago

Love the DLI / LMHEA Shopping event! I'm IN!!!

Kris Adair 6 years, 6 months ago

Dillons on 6th and Wak. has peanut and almond grinding. We have experienced both and love them, whatever the price.

kernal 6 years, 6 months ago

Did not know about the one for almonds. Thank you for sharing that!

Clinton Laing 6 years, 6 months ago

"Whatever the price"!? Wow, we need a lot more folks like you in this town, because plenty of us natives have to consider the price of damn near everything, nowadays.

Frank A Janzen 6 years, 6 months ago

The Merc has a peanut butter grinding machine, and it is filled and ready to go. Just turn it on and get your peanut butter.

The current Dillons on Mass has two basements. The new Dillons will not have ANY basements. The staff have been told, in case of a tornado, to get into the coolers, which have glass doors. That could be a real problem, with broken glass.

Julie Jacob 6 years, 6 months ago

While the broken glass could be dangerous, you know that a dozen or so people in Joplin were saved by being the the coolers, right?

kernal 6 years, 6 months ago

But didn't the coolers in that Joplin store have heavy duty metal doors?

Smarmy_Schoolmarm 6 years, 6 months ago

There are likely other "coolers", walk in refrigerators or freezers that have metal doors.

kseagle 6 years, 6 months ago

Who cares what Dillons does over there. The current place is known as the dirty Dillons and will always be that way. I predict within a year of the "new" store opening, it will be yet again the dirty Dillons.

Smarmy_Schoolmarm 6 years, 6 months ago

People who shop there care. People who live in the neighborhood care. You can call it what you like but I'm in the store every couple of weeks and it's as clean as any other store in town. The building is older and smaller than the other Dillons in town, sure, but it's clean and you can't change that by giving it a nickname. Why so negative? I don't understand. It's just a store.

Rusty Thomas 6 years, 6 months ago

I agree, Smarmy. I shop there every week. The cleanliness, in recent years, has vastly improved. Becky and her staff are fabulous. I know all their names and while most don't know mine, they treat me like a good friend. They are very helpful and I hope ----have heard it might not happen ------ Becky and the crew get to work in the new store. Thank you! to the Mass Street Dillon's staff for always treating me and your other customers "right."

Clovis Sangrail 6 years, 6 months ago

Now the one at 6th and Lawrence Ave. will become Dirty Dillons, although anyone who goes there will confirm that it already has earned that title.

Lisa Rasor 6 years, 6 months ago

Chad, Tsk! If you really want to become an expert on all things townie, you should know where each and every peanut butter grinding machine is in Lawrence. :-)

BTW, the Merc has had a peanut butter grinding machine since the '70's. Before you were born, I imagine.

Chad Lawhorn 6 years, 6 months ago

I think it is a conspiracy that people have been hiding this from me. Thanks for the info. Thanks, Chad

Xwards 6 years, 6 months ago

The merc's p-nut butter grinding machine makes the best p-nut butter!

Marcy McGuffie 6 years, 6 months ago

Chad, Chad, Chad - if you own a food processor, you own a "peanut butter grinding machine." I just got done making a batch of peanut/almond butter. A little oil and honey makes it smooth and sweet.

Edwin Rothrock 6 years, 6 months ago

Chad, I hear the remodeled HyVee on Kasold is adding a lot of new services. As long as you're extolling on major upgrades to existing grocery stores, how about an update on what they'll have available on the west side soon?

Chad Lawhorn 6 years, 6 months ago

Here's what we've had on Hy-Vee in the past. For those of you wondering, the timeline for completing that project is around Thanksgiving. Thanks, Chad

George_Braziller 6 years, 6 months ago

The Dirty Dillon's has already started the markdown. This morning it was 25% off packaged and frozen meat, just about everything in the freezer cases, and everything in the dairy department except for milk and eggs. There may be more discounts now. When I was there they were still putting up the mark-down signs.

newtongirl 6 years, 6 months ago

Peanut and almond butter are fine, but homemade pecan butter is my favorite.

However, a lot of local pecans may have been ruined due to the heat wave this summer. My grandmother's tree - which is our source - has dropped most of its pecans prematurely already. But if you can get your hands on a few pounds, try making pecan butter in your food processor.

Marcy McGuffie 6 years, 6 months ago

I agree - that's good stuff! I've experimented using lots of different nuts. I tend to like mixing them, but pecans are one of my favorites.

benanhalt 6 years, 6 months ago

Out of curiosity, when was the existing building erected?

benanhalt 6 years, 6 months ago

Nvm. Google found the answer:

The store was built in 1960, and hasn’t had a major renovation since 1974 when part of the building suffered a fire...

George_Braziller 6 years, 6 months ago

Before that both sides of that block of Mass were all beautiful Victorian and Queen Ann houses. The only examples left are one directly west of Babcock Place, and another on the northeast corner of 17th and Mass.

The most recent one to be lost was south of Dairy Queen. It was demolished because a parking lot and a drive-through for an ice cream cone was considered more important.

Mike Hatch 6 years, 6 months ago

Peanut butter machine...I hope they keep it clean. When my family first moved here, we went to the different groceries in town to find out which one would be our 'regular' (it turned out to be Krogers). We went to Waymeyers (not sure if that's spelled right). I don't even remember what part of town it was in, but we went there once and never went back. The whole store reeked, and I remember they had a PB grinder machine. It was the filthiest thing I'd ever seen, with dired PB hanging from its opening. Just one of those things you never forget.

Mr_W 6 years, 6 months ago

$10-$15 sirloin steaks for $5 yesterday at Mass St. Dillions! This guy is gonna be eating like a king, yessir!

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