After unexpectedly losing its Thursday home, the Lawrence Farmers’ Market has a new home in west Lawrence.
The westside market will set up Thursday evenings in a vacant lot next to Emprise Bank’s Lawrence Market branch, 1121 Wakarusa Drive.
The new location is just a few blocks south of the market’s previous home, which was at the southwest corner of Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive.
After reading in Thursday’s Journal-World that the westside market had been suspended until it found a new home, bank president Cindy Yulich said she looked at the lot outside her office and thought, “I wonder if this could work?”
After a few calls within the bank and a call to market leaders, Yulich said it was decided that the market would move in.
The Emprise Bank location has a paved area that will be used for parking and a grassy area where vendors will set up.
Downtown markets on Tuesdays and Saturdays will not change.
Since the westside market began, the shopping center at the southwest corner of Sixth and Wakarusa has filled several vacancies, said Dawn Rudd of Concord Hospitality Services, speaking on behalf of the center’s owner, Larry Bird. Bird also owns the Famous Dave’s restaurant in the center.
Other businesses, including Morningstar’s Pizza, and Grills and Grinders, have recently opened there.
With all the storefronts occupied, Rudd said, tenants met to vote on keeping the market and decided instead to reserve the parking area for their customers.
“They all, as a group, decided to vote ‘no’ on whether to have the farmers’ market,” Rudd said.
Lawrence Farmers’ Market coordinator Pam Bramlett said the market got about 10 offers to relocate this week, and she was grateful for the community support.
A couple of things were appealing about the Emprise Bank location, she said: The grass will be cooler than pavement for vendors, and it allows for expansion.
“It just seemed to be the perfect space,” Bramlett said. “This is a place where we can grow, and we’re really excited about that.”