News and notes from around town:
• UPDATE: Leaders with the Lawrence Public Library announced late this afternoon that they have reached a preliminary deal to temporarily move the library into the former Borders bookstore building at Seventh and New Hampshire streets while the main library undergoes a $19 million expansion.
Library officials are expected to present the proposed deal to city commissioners for approval in mid-August.
The move would allow about half of the library's collection and all of its public computers to be located in the former bookstore building. Library leaders believe by moving entirely out of the current library that construction work will progress more quickly and will produce less inconvenience for library patrons.
Library director Brad Allen told me the owners of the Borders building have agreed to a 20-month lease that would cost the library about $235,000, which pencils out to about a $7 per square foot lease rate. Even with the move, the total project costs will remain at or below $19 million.
If approved by city commissioners, the library could open the temporary location by early January, Allen said.
Check for more detail later this evening.
• It is hard to believe now, but someday a bowl of soup actually will sound good again. Well, when that day comes, it looks like there will be a new option in town.
A restaurant called the Sandwich Bowl is slated to open at 3514 Clinton Parkway in the shopping center next to Hy-Vee. More specifically, the store is going into the space formerly occupied by Blue Chip Gourmet.
I haven’t talked to the owners, but they have information about the expansion on their website. I’ve got a message into the folks, and I suspect there is a story there about why they are landing in Lawrence because as near as I can tell this is anything but a chain operation.
It appears the company owns one other soup and sandwich shop, and it is located in a historic bank building in downtown Harlan, Iowa, population 5,106.
As for the restaurant, its tag line is “homestyle sandwiches, soups, salads and desserts.” Based on the menu online, it looks like the restaurant serves some traditional favorites like: chicken salad, egg salad, corned beef, French dip, philly steaks, grilled cheese and a variety of hamburgers. It also has a feature that it calls its “sandwich bowl,” which is a creation where your “sandwich is chopped and served as a salad.” Or as they say, “it’s the forkable sandwich.”
Those crazy Iowans.
• That’s all for Town Talk today. I’m still trying to recover from a day of pig herding at yesterday’s Douglas County Fair. In fact, I’m already having flashbacks from that unique experience. The Sandwich Bowl’s menu includes a sandwich called the “Flying Pig.” That caused me to shudder because, trust me, I had a hard enough time keeping up with my son’s non-winged, 346-pound pig.
Yeah, if pigs could fly, my son’s would be a jumbo jet version.