Archive for Friday, May 11, 2012

Westside farmers market getting a new location

May 11, 2012


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.”


Orwell 6 years, 1 month ago

OK, then, free market at work: I'm starting a savings account at Emprise with the money I would have spent at the center's tenant businesses – including Famous Dave's, Morningstar Pizza and Grills and Grinders. As ye support the community, so shall ye be supported.

Thank you, Cindy.

Boston_Corbett 6 years, 1 month ago

"Dawn Rudd of Concord Hospitality Services, speaking on behalf of the center’s owner. Owner Larry Bird also owns the Famous Dave’s restaurant"

Just keep these names and firms at hand. I know I will. in not worthy of being part of the Lawrence community.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 1 month ago

They made a decision they had every right to make. But was the farmer's market given any notice at all? If not, why not?

Ken Lassman 6 years, 1 month ago

Hooray for Emprise--clearly some folks were thinking fast and acted wisely before anyone else had a chance to react. Sounds like the kind of folks who I'd like to have my money! It is encouraging that 10 other folks lined up to jump at this opportunity as well. Those folks who let this one get away will soon regret it, I predict.

FlintHawk 6 years, 1 month ago

Kudos, big ones, to Emprise. If I didn't love my locally owned bank, University National, so much, I'd give Emprise my businesss.

On the other side: “They all, as a group, decided to vote no on whether to have the farmers market,” Rudd said.

Besides the ones already named — Flameout Dave's, Morningstar Pizza, Grills & Grinders — who comprise the tenant "group"? How many, if any, are locally owned and operated businesses?

Ken Lassman 6 years, 1 month ago

We'll find out soon enough. Suffice it to say that any one of that group who voted "no" to the Farmer's Market will reap their rewards--or lack of--in the form of fewer walk-in customers who decided to check them out after/before going to the Farmer's Market, plus all of the folks who were upset by their lack of foresight and poor form by yanking out the Market with such short notice.

JayhawkFan1985 6 years, 1 month ago

So let me see if I understand this...businesses met and decided to limit the opportunities to attract people with money to their shopping center where they might spend yet more money? Bad business decision...

Noweigh 6 years, 1 month ago

Jayhawk just described most downtown merchants perfectly.

patkindle 6 years, 1 month ago

great move and lots of free advertizing for emprise bank not so good for the shopping center stores haters gotta hate doubt if any of them wouild ever do business thier in the first place most of them just want to whine after all this is lawrence

FlintHawk 6 years, 1 month ago

LJW, can you give us a list of the businesses that allegedly voted to oust Farmers' Market?

FlintHawk 6 years, 1 month ago

Absolutely! That's why I keep asking. I have a feeling no one is going to fess up.

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