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If you got to choose, what type of business would you like to see enter downtown?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on October 1, 2010

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Photo of Daniel Dyer

“I guess I’d like to see a game store — board games and stuff like that.”

Photo of Kristie Wilson

“I would say more local, less franchise stores. More local mom and pop businesses that offer a unique product that you don’t find in other stores.”

Photo of Brandon Kueser

“Probably more clothing stores. There’s a lot of food so more clothing stores would be nice.”

Photo of Ashley Graff

“I would love to see a bakery or a patisserie that served French macarons. It’s my new favorite dessert, and I haven’t found them anywhere in Lawrence yet.”


RoeDapple 7 years, 1 month ago

A Sam's Club, a Lowe's and a Cabela's. Along with the parking to go with them, that ought to just about cover it. Oh, and a car dealership. Doesn't matter which, as long as it's 'Merican. Couple of box liquor stores and a McDonald's ought to round it out. Invite Sarah Palin to cut the ribbon for the grand opening!

She's HOT!!

Gene Wallace 7 years, 1 month ago

I second the Game Store. Include a room for free board gaming, computer gaming kiosks, live game demos, game tutorial video section, a discussion area, a game piece/card laminating station, and a beverage/snack bar for gamers and customers. And a big No! No! No! to a "mall type" game store. Hmmmm! Sounds like an "Apprentice" challenge. CCG!

Gene Wallace 7 years, 1 month ago

Pauley Perrette, Kirsten Vangsness, and Allison Scagliotti would be my favorites for the "Ribbon Cutting".

Gene Wallace 7 years, 1 month ago

Real clothes, not just suits and work clothes.

miker 7 years, 1 month ago

Then that would be headshandsfeat tomorrow at The Baldwin Blues & BBQ Festival at The Lumberyard Art Center! We start at 6:00 & go to 7:00....shameless promotion...

LogicMan 7 years, 1 month ago

A side of a block that is intentionally old-west, with wooden side walk, a saloon, and old-fashioned behind-the-counter grocer, bank, trading company, etc. No modern businesses hiding as old-west in there.

GardenMomma 7 years, 1 month ago

That could be kind of fun!

Would we have shoot-outs at high noon too?

kernal 7 years, 1 month ago

We already have that any time of day.

Gene Wallace 7 years, 1 month ago

Temecula, CA. transformed one of it's older commercial streets, (Kinda like North second/third in N. Lawrence) into a wonderful Wild West themed commercial district. Take a look :

labmonkey 7 years, 1 month ago

A gun shop that sells and repairs guns. Cabelas has a little too much sensory overload in that department, and waiting in line sucks.

ivalueamerica 7 years, 1 month ago

I think Lawrence is ready to support a gay bar.

ggwalker 7 years, 1 month ago

Gay bars don't do well in Lawrence because the gay population is well accepted at most the current bars in town. Most good bar owners know the gay population is a great demographic to cater too. High income and highly educated as a group demographic.
Bars that cater to more of the gay population already existing are Henry's downtown and Chateau on Iowa. Several have failed over years for the reason I mentioned above.

Gene Wallace 7 years, 1 month ago

Have you checked out Wilde's Chateau 24 on Iowa on a Thursday night???

ggwalker 7 years, 1 month ago

No. I assume it must be hetro night. I did not state that Chateau is a gay only bar. I stated Chateau caters to the gay pop. and I stand by my statement.

whats_going_on 7 years, 1 month ago

I think Chateau is pretty much a gay bar

Maddy Griffin 7 years, 1 month ago

A consignment store for all of our local crafters to sell their stuff.

kernal 7 years, 1 month ago

I think the rents downtown are too expensive for a consignment store.

GUMnNUTS 7 years, 1 month ago

I would like a store that sells monkeys dressed as people.

Gene Wallace 7 years, 1 month ago

Try the NorthEast corner of Sixth and Mass.

conservativepunker 7 years, 1 month ago

Anything that will make Fratboys uncomfortable.....

monkey_c 7 years, 1 month ago

Like perhaps a gay bar next to a mosque?

Richard Heckler 7 years, 1 month ago

There is a game store in downtown. It's called Fun and Games on the top floor of the Antique Mall on Mass Street..

Stores such as Old Navy, Apple,Sony Style,Lands End and a camera store would bring people downtown thus support for existing locally owned stores increases. Experts say it is generally the small business community that actually supports any business community. A big name scattered here and there make good partners.

Many downtowns have big name anchors surrounded by mostly "mom and pops".

There is plenty of foot traffic downtown which should be attractive to new business.

Bring all the KU home games back to Lawrence. Downtown can use the business!

GardenMomma 7 years, 1 month ago

Fun & Games has really changed (not so much for the better) since it was in its own shop in Mass. St.

monkey_c 7 years, 1 month ago

Yep, I agree it totally stinks now. Not that that is quite what you said...but I think it's lousy now.

kernal 7 years, 1 month ago

Lands End was acquired by Sears a few years ago and now sells there stuff at Sears as well as online. Eddie Bauer was downtown at one time and the stuff in the store was not as good as what was in their catalogs, so they only lasted a couple of years.

Linda Aikins 7 years, 1 month ago

Red Lobster or Olive Garden. Sorry - I'm a sucker for those two franchises.

Dan Thalmann 7 years, 1 month ago

There are tech gurus who actually still use Blackberries? Yowtch.

Practicality 7 years, 1 month ago

I would like to see a Lowes, Cabelas, Bass Pro, Workforce Center (So people could ask for a job instead of money), a Merchant Marine recruiting station, and the Republican National Headquarters building where the US Bank building is at.

monkey_c 7 years, 1 month ago

This vision of downtown you create is horrid and I wouldn't go down there anymore!

dipweed 7 years, 1 month ago

Good Night Nurse....just bring back Paradise Cafe for cripes sake!

dipweed 7 years, 1 month ago

Yes to all three of those great dining establishment! One serving of carp lips for grammaddy!

rse1979 7 years, 1 month ago

The type that will still respect it in the morning.

blindrabbit 7 years, 1 month ago

Back in the day, several neighbor businesses tried to save Paradise (buy ownership shares). Too bad this did not work out as business went downhill in that block following their closure. Unfortunately, quality of food and service started to decline several months before their closure. My guess the owners just got worn out from long hours. Too bad, I still wear my t-shirt on occasion and get inquiries as to "what happened". Miss their Cowboy eggs, mussels, and gumbo.

Flap Doodle 7 years, 1 month ago

Snap's College of Cheese-Making and Taxidermy might relocate to downtown. Everybody would get used to the smell eventually. We're running a 20% off sale on marmots and gouda this month.

somedude20 7 years, 1 month ago

Guitar Center would be killer because $10 for a pair of sticks and $8 for a pack of guitar strings is way too much!! On second thought, what if there was a half Hooters half Guitar Center hybrid. Busty ladies with musical instruments would be tops!

blindrabbit 7 years, 1 month ago

Some ideas I've seen work elsewhere; may work here now.

  1. Real cafe and/or diner, not a First Watch, Milton's, Mirth, or Perkins but a genuine one! To get that now I go to Tonganoxie, Eudora and many small towns around here. Lawrence used to be full of them; died out about 20 years ago! Unfortunately, those in BillTown, Baldwin and Overbrook have also closed

  2. A real Chicken house, i.e. Brookfield, Strouds, and Annie's and Mary's in Pittsburgh!

  3. A establishment that served real, quality "New Mexican cuisine", not the standard "Mexican gruel" that everyone has.

  4. A brewing, winemaking supply business. Lawrence had one several years ago, but now gone; maybe not enough demand. Now, have to go to Olathe, Topeka or online suppliers.

  5. Grocery store in North Lawrence.

9070811 7 years, 1 month ago

A real bakery would be nice. One with pastries, cookies, muffins, cakes etc. I bet there is some space to put in a small bowling alley. That would be pretty fun and good for families or birthday parties.
What I really want is another pharmacy. Pretty ticked that Round Corner was pushed out. I miss being able to walk downtown to get some over the counter meds or just some band-aids. A small grocer would also be nice. The Casbah Market was nice, but not exactly convenient in terms of prices and selection; great idea though. Can we have a combined grocer and pharmacy downtown? I wish something like that could survive! I would certainly go there and I think a lot of us around OWL and East Lawrence would take advantage of it. I think that is what I would like to have the most :)

Flap Doodle 7 years, 1 month ago

"9070811 (anonymous) says… A real bakery would be nice. One with pastries, cookies, muffins, cakes etc." Is WheatFields just too far off Mass for you?

9070811 7 years, 1 month ago

Wheatfields is a restaurant. I want real bake shop with cookies, tarts, chocolate croissants etc... Thanks for being a snot, though.

Flap Doodle 7 years, 1 month ago

Last time I made the long and tiring trek to WheatFields, they had most all of the items you mentioned.

somedude20 7 years, 1 month ago

have you tried the pink box on mass? They have a number of the fattening things that you want

9070811 7 years, 1 month ago

... is dry, lacks variety on any given day, horrible set up...screwed up a cupcake.. Doesn't have apple tarts, fruit filled pastries and other essential pastry items that you'd find at a pâtisserie. But hey what gives, this is Lawrence Ks, not the east coast or France.

Maxwell Butterfield 7 years, 1 month ago

My god, are you picky. Why don't you just open up a bakery yourself?

labmonkey 7 years, 1 month ago

Would we be able to get a Pespi Free or a Tab there?

greenstrings 7 years, 1 month ago

Wax Museum, Indoor Paintball, Comedy Club, or something that is for all ages, until after 10:00 PM ,when it becomes a scene for those 18 and up.

sissezz 7 years, 1 month ago

Paradise Cafe.... miss them. I second a good chicken house! and the grocery store idea!

monkey_c 7 years, 1 month ago

I concur. Good God I'm agreeable this afternoon.

Gene Wallace 7 years, 1 month ago

Get me some backing and I'd do it. I just made this one at Zazzle a couple weeks ago. "Gnome Coming 2010" Much better than the ACME place on 9th and Mass.

Randall Barnes 7 years, 1 month ago

i agree cause i can not find a 5 xl k.u shirt anywhere in town joe college allways got my shirts within 2 days now i have to go to acme at 9th and mass but not the same.

Ryan Neuhofel 7 years, 1 month ago

Local - Speciality butcher shop. Chain - Trader Joes.

somedude20 7 years, 1 month ago

I thought he did already and it is called Sacred Journey

KU_Dude 7 years, 1 month ago

I'd like to see a city hall that actually allows new business without a lot of hoop jumping.

Mike Hatch 7 years, 1 month ago

I'd like to sell oranges down at the stoplight on the corner. $3 a pop.

monkey_c 7 years, 1 month ago

Rip off. I would not buy an overpriced orange from you...a hot dog on the other hand...

Mike Hatch 7 years, 1 month ago

You only tell the cop you're selling oranges...if you get caught!

riverdrifter 7 years, 1 month ago

I'd like to see a steak joint that sold prime beef and has a great bar. A private club, no college kids -except for the waitresses...

blindrabbit 7 years, 1 month ago

neuhofel: Trader Joe's is a great idea for cities like Lawrence, but they don't look for locations (i.e. Kansas) where they cannot sell wine (Two Buck Chuck's aka Charles Shaw). Although, they have decided to open a store at 119th and Roe in Overland Park and also Philadelphia. Pa. has liquor laws even more antiquated than Kansas'. The same situation will keep stores like City Market and Whole Foods away from Kansas.

Two Bucks $1.99 per bottle in Calif; $2.99 every other state.

pace 7 years, 1 month ago

Guess my age, I miss both Duckwalls and Woolworths.

GardenMomma 7 years, 1 month ago

Old enough to also remember Town Crier, Adventure Book Store, & Raney Drugs? Do you recall the pets for sale downstairs in Woolworth's & the diner in the store as well?

Mike Hatch 7 years, 1 month ago

I always wanted to eat in that diner but never got to. I remember all of those stores (usually bought my mom's Christmas present each year at Town Crier) except I don't really remember pets for sale in Woolworths. I remember their downstairs...that's where the toys were!

pace 7 years, 1 month ago

I really miss the town crier. Clean well lighted place, wide aisles and good variety.

monkey_c 7 years, 1 month ago

I guess OLD. Old as yer tounge and a little bit older than yer teeth. Like Santy Claus?

Ryan Shumaker 7 years, 1 month ago

waffle house, in n out burger, white castle, jack in the box.

thomgreen 7 years, 1 month ago

A wine store similar to Cellar Rat in KC. Where you could take different wine classes throughout the month. I'm for another brewery too. I think Lawrence could support another local GOOD brewery.
Chain stores that I'd like to see here would be an Apple store, possibly an Aldo shoes, and a Converse store would be nice too.

As far as the Trader Joe's, Lawrence isn't necessarily out of the picture. Typically Trader Joe's follows a cluster of three business plan. They announced two spots in KC, a third store announcement would seem to be logical.

But most of all I'd like to see a downtown property owner who understands it's not all about making the almighty dollar. Take pride in the town you live in, stop raising rents so that smaller businesses can't survive. Do you really have to own everything?

Editorator 7 years, 1 month ago

You can buy mixed cases at Jensen's Liquor on 9th, although I'm with you, I'd like to see something like Emerald City Market in Manhattan, and the wine class is an idea that some place like Milton's could pick up.

It's a shame smaller businesses can't find affordable rent downtown, but I really think Lawrence has a great mix of downtown businesses.

blindrabbit 7 years, 1 month ago

thomgreen: Great idea about a wine store and especially offering wine/beer making classes. I inquired about the "class" idea and was told that the Kansas liquor laws prevent this. Apparently, as soon as you add yeast to a beer mash or wine squeezings with the intent to produce alcohol (unless done privately) you need a producers license.

booyalab 7 years, 1 month ago

I've wanted to start a lingerie shop for the past few years. My idea is it would be sort of an anti-victoria's secret in that it would serve the hard-to-find bra size niche and the models would be relatively normal-sized local women. Unfortunately, my imagination is a lot bigger than my bank account and I'm against taking out loans because I think it's not conducive to wise financial decisions. Plus, Lawrence is just not friendly to new businesses.

kernal 7 years, 1 month ago

That would probably find a good niche in a large city!

gphawk89 7 years, 1 month ago

Summit Racing, Grainger, Grizzly Industrial, Newark Electronics, Lab Safety, Classic Industries, MSC Industrial Supply, Rockler - all fully stocked warehouses. And a Guitar Center.

bearded_gnome 7 years, 1 month ago

24-hour Der Weinerschnitzel!

nothing even close in Lawrence.

bearded_gnome 7 years, 1 month ago

907: Round Corner drugs was not squeezed, pushed, or forced out FGS!
Tom the pharm and owner needed to retire.

Pendragons: you better watchit thar buddy! "gnomecoming" can be misunderstood.

A mosque next door to the Eldridge (surviving relic of Quantrill's raid). on the other side of the Mosque: the Der Wienerschnitzel or other hot dog shop selling pork hot dogs and sausages. then back of the mosque would be perfect place for the new brewer/wine shops [see above].
plus the pedacab could stop at the mosque five times a day too.

but the Muazzin has to vocalize in a kansas city blues sort of style!

mdrndgtl 7 years, 1 month ago

A failed pewter blacksmith selling early-80s snuff films for pennies on the dollar. Also, he sells candied yams and homemade stationary made with Elmer's glue and dryer lint.

independant1 7 years, 1 month ago

24 hour combo soda fountain, donut shop/coffee house with beer on tap w/popcorn/ass't nuts. Steak n Sushi bar optional add on or weekend fare. With impromptu 24 hour amateur.volunteer entertainment

independant1 7 years, 1 month ago

uh oh, left it wide open for anyone who wants to comment on the new shelter in east l'ville.

Dan Thalmann 7 years, 1 month ago

Combined cheese shop and wine shop and related goodies, promoting local producers. Could be connected to the whole local foods movement which seems to be trending right now. LJWorld should allow us to subscribe to entries. I enjoy this thread, but I don't have time to come back and manually catch up.

Liberty275 7 years, 1 month ago

I'd like to see a hybrid nudie-bar/best buy/latte-shop go in downtown with a hooters built onto the side. I would shop there and have lunch.

Jimo 7 years, 1 month ago

Oui, un pâtisserie - my thought exactly. Or some type of boulangerie.

Tom Ballew 7 years, 1 month ago

Several of the comments in this forum are some of the funniest things I've read in a long time. Some of you could write jokes for comic talent.

snoozey 7 years, 1 month ago

Paradise Cafe - I miss it so much - as does the rest of the city. Please, bring it back. All will be forgiven.

Randall Barnes 7 years, 1 month ago

more street vendors. how about asian food.

Kookamooka 7 years, 1 month ago

Entertainment. High end office supply/stationery store like Archivers or Levenger. Bring back papers and pens. Art supplies. Also...a fountain that people can run through or play in. Stuff for kids to do-like a City museum concept to draw people off of the highway into downtown. A rooftop bar. An outdoor pavilion or ampitheater where live music can play but people could also eat their lunch there.

Banana Republic, Anthropologie, Burberry, Sephora, Designer Shoe Warehouse. I wish Lawrence could lure Dillards distribution center here with an outlet. They used to have one at Indian Springs Mall...I have no idea where it is now. Wouldn't have to be downtown.

An ice skating rink.

pace 7 years, 1 month ago

'what I want is a complaint store where we talk about some idea about a business we would open but not really, where we would choose to not do a business plan, not do any market research, reject any ideas about investing any of one's own money in it or consider a business loan and then blame its' failure of the city by stating , it failed due to the City's lack of support for business.

Lacy Mohler 7 years, 1 month ago

Terre Haute, Indiana has a store "Gabby Junction -- Dog Grooming and Beanie Babies". It isn't a viable business any longer in The Haute but maybe Lawrence has a market for it. Think outside the box.

slowplay 7 years, 1 month ago

A casino. Nothing fancy, just a few black jack tables and video poker.

Alexander Neighbors 7 years, 1 month ago

Good luck wig that we don't have a choice... It what ever the city approves of ... If they don't like your business they will do everything they can to shut it down

whats_going_on 7 years, 1 month ago

More nice clothing stores...I can't shop at JCP or Kohls unless I want to look like a 15 year old or a 50 year old, and I'm not going to find many professional/work attire, or even quality clothes, at Britches, etc. I have to order online for all that, or just happen to be at the mall. :(

pace 7 years, 1 month ago

I got it, a whine store for all the could of, should of, buts and casino. Perfect combination, one that serves all ilk of losers.

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