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And the next restaurant in the Sixth Street gas station will be ...

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The Basil Leaf Café is the most recent restaurant to occupy the Phillips 66 Gas Station.

The Basil Leaf Café is the most recent restaurant to occupy the Phillips 66 Gas Station. by Richard Gwin

Basil Leaf Cafe has barely launched out of its original home inside the Miller Mart at 3300 W. Sixth St., and plans for the gas station’s next restaurant are already underway.

Basil Leaf left Miller Mart in August and opened about two weeks ago in its first standalone home, the former Joe’s Bakery spot at 616 W. Ninth St. (More on that Thursday — watch for it here on Lawrence.com.)

Robert Douglas took over the lease for the entire convenience store and closed the building for renovations last week. The convenience store half should reopen this weekend, he said, and he hopes to open his planned restaurant in November.

The name will be D-Lux Southern Fried Chicken, and in addition to fried chicken (obviously) Douglas plans to cook up comfort food such as braised greens, pickled beets and baked macaroni and cheese. He’s moved the counter formerly home to the convenience store’s frozen drink machines to significantly increase the size of the dining room, and he plans to reopen the restaurant’s drive-thru window.

Douglas said he’s worked at hotels, restaurants and private clubs — including a golf and recreational property where one of the seven dining outlets was a pizzeria in a convenience store — in several other states. While living in California, he said he met Jeff Stehney, owner of Kansas City’s famous Oklahoma Joe’s Bar-B-Que (yep, their original location’s in a Kansas City, Kan., gas station), who suggested he check out our area.

Originally, Douglas said, he and his partner were looking at spaces in Kansas City. But the Sixth Street Miller Mart with it’s little restaurant on the side — where before Basil Leaf, Tortas Jalisco and Biemer’s BBQ also started before successfully moving into standalone properties — piqued his interest.

“That’s what drew us here, because we think it’s pretty cool,” Douglas said. “This thing’s a gold mine — we love this place.”

Tips welcome!

Try something unusual or know of something interesting going on at a Lawrence restaurant? Send me an email at sshepherd@ljworld.com or contact me on Twitter @saramarieshep. For more local food and restaurant news, click here.

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