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Palace Cards & Gifts in final days


It is time to buy a farewell card for Palace Cards and Gifts.

The longtime downtown card and gift shop at Eighth and Massachusetts streets is set to close by the end of May to make way for the national chain restaurant Noodles & Company.

It also may be time for hundreds of downtown employees to start planning a little better. The Palace was the last true card shop in downtown, and owner Greg Guenther said it certainly served a purpose for downtown employees who waited until the last minute to buy that needed greeting card.

“On Valentine’s Day, we had a lot of last-minute purchases happen here,” Guenther said. “There are only a few smart people who plan ahead.”

Guenther is running a sale to clear out the store’s remaining inventory, but he’s also seeking a buyer to purchase his operations, which would allow a business to sell a full-line of greeting cards elsewhere in downtown.

“I think a greeting card component is needed somewhere downtown,” Guenther said. “And I absolutely think a card place could make a go of it.”

Guenther said he’s not continuing on because he’s reached a retirement age, and has lost some energy for the business.

We’ve reported on the prospects for a deal with Noodles & Company a couple of times, but Guenther said the deal just became official this week. He’ll turn over the keys to the building June 11. No word yet on when to expect Noodles & Company, which is a restaurant that serves all types of noodle dishes. The company already has received site plan approval from City Hall and approval for a new sidewalk dining area, so work should be able to start shortly.

In other development news:

• The Lawrence nightclub scene has had a couple of recent changes. Coyote’s, a country music dance club at 23rd and Haskell, is no more. It has been replaced by 23rd Street Roadhouse. Manager Bryan Lewis said the club still focuses on country music and top 40 rock on Saturdays, and has a Latin theme on Fridays. On Thursdays, the club is trying to become a venue for live country music acts. Lewis said the newly formed company of Entertainment Solutions & Innovations Inc., took over for Dennis Steffes, who previously operated Coyotes. Steffes was well known in the Lawrence bar scene for having operated The Last Call, a downtown nightclub that he eventually closed after several instances of violence surrounding the club. Steffes also was the Lawrence bar owner who unsuccessfully challenged, at the Kansas Supreme Court, the city’s smoking ban.

The former Molly McGee’s location at 2412 Iowa also has been converted into a dance club. The space is now home to Wilde’s Chateau 24. According to our friends at lawrence.com, the business promotes itself as an upscale dance club — complete with an indoor fountain and a chandelier in the ladies' room.

• Plans are in the works for a new two-story building at the southeast corner of Seventh and Connecticut streets. Property owner Lance Burr has filed for a site plan for a new building to house contractor shops on the ground floor and two to three apartments on the second floor. The property currently is a vacant lot, and already is properly zoned for the development, according to information from the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Department.


Steve Jacob 9 years, 1 month ago

Do people really buy cards anymore? Again, retail is dead downtown.

torinmia 9 years, 1 month ago

This is so sad! I worked at Palace during college and loved working for Greg and his daughter. It was a one-stop shop for perfect gifts and a huge selection of cards and Jayhawk gear. It will be incredibly hard to see when I'm next in town!!!

mylassie3 9 years, 1 month ago

The Palace will be remembered by long-time Lawrence residents and former residents as a great place with personality, a source of creative cards, stationery, wrapping papers and gifts. The Palace was a very busy place when we enjoyed and appreciated the distinctive character of Lawrence and supported the home-owned downtown shops instead of rushing out to South Iowa to fulfill a cloned suburban lifestyle. We will miss you, Greg, Kathy, and all.

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