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Do you think there should be more bars and restaurants or more places to shop in the future of downtown Lawrence?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on September 18, 2006

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Photo of Angela Powers

“I think there should probably be more restaurants. I would like to see more outdoor cafes.”

Photo of Troy Griepentrog

“More places to shop. It seems like there are an awful lot of bars and restaurants downtown already.”

Photo of Mintoy Tolbert

“More places to shop. I love shopping, and I have to travel to the Kansas City area to shop now. I would like to be able to do it all here.”

Photo of Mike McCoy,

“I think it’s at a stage where it needs to grow slowly all the way around. I don’t think there are necessarily too many of one or the other.”

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Kelly Powell 11 years ago

more artisan shops....the yuppies love the hand made stuff.

Kuku_Kansas 11 years ago

Is Wal*Mart moving downtown yet???

lunacydetector 11 years ago

a major problem with the downtown is the stress. the trees block the store signs so it makes it a pain in the b*tt just to find a place right off the bat. then you have to find a parking place, and by golly you better have a quarter in your pocket and you best be keeping tabs on the time you spend shopping. all of this just to spend more money for something you can buy cheaper somewhere else.

downtown needs something exciting to do to attract customers. perhaps on every block. going to a library is NOT exciting.

Linda Aikins 11 years ago

Mintoy, you don't HAVE to go to KC - you choose to. And with gas the price it is, you must be spending a whoopload of money to justify it!

I agree with Mike and whatever Bea will say. Maybe more poles?

H_Lecter 11 years ago

A concealed carry restaurant would be fun. They could have a gift shop where they sell concealed carry items, ankle holsters, bras, underwear, derringer necklaces. The entertainment could be like Joe's Crabshack except the waitresses/waiters whip out their weapons and dance with them. At the end, they yell, "Who's packing!" and everybody gets to fire into the ceiling. Lawrence, where the fun never ends!

sunflower_sue 11 years ago

H_L, I've never been to Joe's. What do the waitresses normally whip out? Their crabs?

Downtown needs more places that actually serve breakfast. I get tired of the 1 1/2 hour wait times on weekend mornings. If anyone has a list of their favorite places to eat breakfast...please post!

supermel718 11 years ago

Clay's Cafe on 19th and Haskell is hands down the best breakfast in Lawrence. Much better than Ihop, perkins, and hays

heather5 11 years ago

I don't know where they would do this at, but they defiantly need more parking spaces. And we need a Victorias Secret I hate driving clear to the Oak Park mall to go there and I absolutely love this store. They have the best most comfortable bras I have ever worn. I don't see the need for another Wal-Mart in Lawrence. Yeah it is a pain to drive across town but why do we really need two Lawrence is not big enough for two of them.

Kam_Fong_as_Chin_Ho 11 years ago

Clay's Cafe is still open for business? Every time I see that place it is closed. In fact, I've haven't seen it open for the past two years. They must keep banker's hours.

heather5 11 years ago

Hey lets not make fun of the bankers hours, I work at a bank and I just recently changed to opening instead of closing, but we closed at 6 and I know of another bank that stays open til 7 and by the time you get off work at 6 most of your day has gone to waste because by the time I get off I don't feel like going shopping because it gets late by the time I get home.

clutterbug 11 years ago

Sure, downtown needs another national corporate chain store ... like a hole in the head. Oh, and where ever shall we park the Hummer? There's a big garage in the way!

sgtwolverine 11 years ago

I think there should be a professional soccer team downtown.

Tony Kisner 11 years ago

Sunflower - if we told you about our fav place for breakfast then we would need to stand in line.

Yogi Berra - "no one goes there anymore it's too crowded."

Charla Welch 11 years ago

Kam_Fong_as_Chin_Ho said: Clay's Cafe is still open for business? Every time I see that place it is closed. In fact, I've haven't seen it open for the past two years. They must keep banker's hours.

Kam - Clay's is still open. They only do breakfast and lunch, no dinner. If you only drive by in the evenings, then you'll always see it closed.

I agree, they do have a wonderful breakfast. I didn't know the place existed until we moved to the neighborhood recently. Very glad we found it though!

As for downtown, I think they need better hours, more than anything. I would love to go to the farmers market and have some stores open to go shopping in, but I end up having to wait a few hours for anything to open. And they close so early that they're all closed before I get home.

sunflower_sue 11 years ago

OK, I've never heard of Clay's but I'll look.

Prospector, are you down by the river in a van?

OMB, huh, huh! ;)

irnmadn88 11 years ago

What small independently owned boutique or shop can afford to have a Mass Street doorstop? Property values (and rent) have skyrocketed downtown in the last ten years...

More parking downtown? There is plenty of parking...just not RIGHT IN FRONT of the store of choice. WALK!

I think Mass Street should be one lane in one direction at the least if not sections of Mass closed entirely to vehicle traffic...especially those blocks with access to large parking lots on New Hampshire and Vermont. But...what business is willing to give up curb side parking access?

Kontum1972 11 years ago

more fruitcakes that serve hookah's.....

more bars that serve jailbars @ DG County JH....

more bars..more vomit.... lets have an excess of everything....

mb a fire dept in north lawrence might be nice too....

H_Lecter 11 years ago

s_s, You just made me spew my drink.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years ago

Does anyone else think this question is worded oddly? Its 1) Restaurants & Bars, or 2) Shopping. Why isn't it 1) Restaurants, 2) Bars, or 3)Shopping?

I don't think "Last Call" and "Thai House" should be classified together.

My answer: More restaurants and shopping. The bars aren't really "working" for downtown.

lynnd 11 years ago

Downtown would be much nicer if the panhandlers were not allowed.

There is plenty of parking. People are just so lazy anymore. I think it's great to park in the garage and then spend the afternoon walking up and down Mass St.

The sidewalks are definitely filthy since the smoking ban went into place, especially since the city will not allow the bars/restaurants to put any type of ash tray/butt collector outdoors. I do think that many of the places could do a better job of sweeping their sidewalks, but there are some bars/restaurants that do a good job of this already.

I think there is a good mix of shops, restaurants and bars already. I do believe that exorbitant rents are contributing to the vacancies and will continue to do so.

John Spencer 11 years ago

How about round-a-bouts half way between each block?

irnmadn88 11 years ago

WereAllMonkeys = How about round-a-bouts half way between each block?

There are. Cars drive 'round the people walking about in the crosswalks...

Grundoon Luna 11 years ago

It may be too late for this and I don't know if he sold the building, but they need to let the guy that owns the Tap Room (Taproom?) go ahead and open up the Sonic Temple where the Masonic Temple was on Mass street.

beatrice 11 years ago

More military recruitment centers. It will give the anarchists something to protest about on a saturday night. More churches. It will give F.Phelps something to protest about on a saturday night. More bars. It will give the whiners something to smoke about on a saturday night. At least one respectable Mexican food restaurant that uses fresh ingredients with food that leaves a nice burn on the tongue and serves Corona without limes -- if you want a fruity drink, order one already, but keep your fruit out of my beer! More tattoo shops. It will give old people like me something to hurumph about on a saturday night.

gccs14r 11 years ago

We could use a good German restaurant and a good French one wouldn't hurt. Failing that, just getting a Nordsee in here would be good.

Teapot9 11 years ago

What Lawrence really needs is another homeless shelter so that I dont have to look at them begging when I am trying to enjoy Mass street with family and friends. Cant we export all of the homeless to Topeka anyway or how about Kansas City? These people are a cancer to this town and I for one wont have it anymore. We should also enforce them to shower daily and set up a program where they get donated clothes from local country club members so they can atleast look respectable when acting like total scumbags.

Bone777 11 years ago

Azure- The guy that owns the Taproom was getting too much guff for that idea and has moved on to other projects.

I think Compton owns that building now.

samsnewplace 11 years ago

Who says downtown needs to grow? Maybe bring in some real art rather than sawblades and left over construction equipment left on the Courthouse lawn, or better yet....the cones at 9th & New Hamshire? Who the heck is in charge of what we show for our City's art? They need a NEW JOB!!!

lubyloo 11 years ago

I would LOVE an Ann Taylor store in downtown Lawrence, or anywhere in Lawrence. I ask you, why is there a Talbots in Lawrence, but no Ann Taylor?

Grundoon Luna 11 years ago

Yeah, Bone, I heard that the city wasn't going for it at first, but I didn't know what was going on after that. Alas, the irony of what could have been sigh

As if Compton doesn't own enough stuff around here. Didn't he start his "empire" as the owner of the frat bar "The Mad Hatter" back in the day?

Ceallach 11 years ago

Just what we need -- another "vision" of downtown Lawrence!!! LOL

I really don't care. Downtown shops and restaurants come and go so fast that they were closed before I got around to checking them out.

I thought our barowners were complaining that the smoking ban was putting them out of business. Why would we need more?

Ceallach 11 years ago

Well put MD! There are some things about women's liberation that are really irksome! I hate pumping gas, carrying groceries, etc., etc., etc. I no longer feel "special."

Emily Hadley 11 years ago

How about more multi-purpose space that can showcase alcohol-free, commercial-free events... maybe a speaker on tolerance would be a good start?

--quoted from above: "More military recruitment centers. It will give the anarchists something to protest about on a saturday night." "another homeless shelter so that I dont have to look at them begging when I am trying to enjoy Mass street with family and friends" "downtown business owners need to stop whining" "Just what we need -- another "vision" of downtown Lawrence!"

Ceallach 11 years ago

Sooooo Emily, are you saying that you are unable to tolerate our posts? Hmmmm. That's seems a little ironic to me.

It is true, I have grown weary of wave after wave of companies and/or associations bringing their "vision" to our table. BTW, their visions almost always includes fat monetary incentives for said company and/or association.

Bone777 11 years ago

Here's a few more local businesses of the past -

Downtown: George's Hobby Shop General Jeans Campus Hideaway Ober's Clothing Store

Else where: Rusty's TG&Y Uncle Milty's The Carriage Lamp

Bone777 11 years ago

EmilyHadley- Be careful. You are about to get a "Damn Bea" thrown down on you.

stargazer 11 years ago

waaaaa, I want Rusty's back in N. Lawrence.

Bone777 11 years ago

There was a Rusty's on 23rd, also.

davisnin 11 years ago

We def need a Bananana Republic and another couple starbucks at other parts of the street. Oh and an Abercrombie Kids a sophora and a Sunglass Hut and the victoria's secret since they have such comfortable bras. What else, um a finish line and crap like that...

The people that go to Oak Park once a week aren't going to start comming downtown and walking all over OUTSIDE past the homeless. Non-franchise bars and restaurants all the way.

Ceallach 11 years ago

and I would say, "Thank you," and feel very special again :)

If my errratic thoughts could affect the Time-Space Continuum, none of us would still be here I will now focus and try to remember the last time I had a thought that wouldn't!

(I originally wrote that those things really bite, but I changed it because I thought that didn't sound lady-like:)

Ceallach 11 years ago

777, I loved the Campus Hideaway!! Best pizza in town.

giantchurro 11 years ago

What Lawrence really needs is another homeless shelter so that I dont have to look at them begging when I am trying to enjoy Mass street with family and friends. Cant we export all of the homeless to Topeka anyway or how about Kansas City?


I dont think that will work Teapot. Shawnee Co. Sheriff drops their homeless off at the Douglas Co. line. They just tell them to go to Lawrence and they will be taken care of.

beatrice 11 years ago

Fellas, please. Emily hardly rates a "tsk, tsk," let alone a complete throwdown. It isn't her fault that she doesn't know that half of what we write around here is meant for humorous purposes only. As far as her idea of a multi-purpose, alcohol-free space -- I'll drink to that!

sunflower_sue 11 years ago

Ceal, RI would only hold the door for you so he would automatically be in prime "back-side viewing placement." ;)

H_L, Glad I could make you spew something! ;)

Ceallach 11 years ago

Who are you, and what have you done with our Bea???

trinity 11 years ago

lol, cheers, bea! :)

i don't know exactly what downtown lawrence needs-but it sure do need something! it used to be sooo worth the trek up to y'all's fair city to shop, eat, hang out, just enjoy; not so much, nowadays.

Jersey_Girl 11 years ago

Oh, poor Heather. You changed from closing the bank at 6 to opening at what, 9? 10? I open the office I work at at 8:30 AND close it at 6:30. It's called working a full business day.

And I don't even remember who was whining about having to put a whole 25 cents in a parking meter for an hour of parking. Golly gosh, if you spent a whole dollar, you'd have 4 freaking hours to wander around downtown, buying even more KU Jayhawk crap. The last thing downtown needs is more shops selling more KU crap. How about some shops that actually sell something original? There isn't a place left in Lawrence that doesn't sell something blue and red. Hell, you take your 12-year-old to the orthidontist to get his/her braces tightened and they give you a t-shirt with a grinning Jayhawk with braces. I've been back in Lawrence for less than 6 months and I'm already oversaturated with KU paraphenalia.

Oh, and for those of you who think a homeless shelter will keep you from having to look at them or think about them, what are you thinking? They'll lock them up in there so you don't have to sully your happiness with thoughts or visions of people less fortunate than you? God forbid someone so undesirable might cross your path while shopping downtown.

And teapot9, you want manditory showers for the homeless? Your compassion for others is simply overwhelming. I don't suppose you'd be interested in assisting in bathing and feeding the homeless? No? Didn't think so. So if you aren't going to be part of the solution, SHUT UP!

Bone777 11 years ago

Where there are hookah's there are pimps.

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