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Noodles & Company still eyeing downtown
As we reported back in October, it looks like Noodles & Company is going to open up a new restaurant in downtown Lawrence. But it also looks like Palace Cards & Gifts will shut down this spring to make way for the business. The national chain Noodles & Company, which serves all types of noodle dishes, is set to receive approval from city commissioners on Tuesday for a sidewalk dining area at 8 W. Eighth St., which is the site of the Palace. Palace owner Greg Guenther in October said he wasn’t sure whether he would try to reopen the store elsewhere or just retire. On Friday, he said he’s now leaning toward retirement. But that’s only if Noodles & Company follows through on its plans to open a restaurant. Guenther — who also owns the building — said Noodles & Company has until late March to decide whether to finalize the deal. If finalized, Guenther said the Palace probably would close by late April. Guenther has owned the card and gift shop since 1990, but the card store has been in business at the location since 1984. Guenther said he had mixed emotions about leaving the business. “It has definitely been a blood, sweat and tears enterprise,” he said. But Guenther also said it was becoming harder to make a living in the retail industry downtown. “In my view, downtown is more of an entertainment district than a shopping district, anymore,” Guenther said. “That has been the gradual evolution of downtown.” In other development news:• In case you hadn’t noticed, Silver Works & More, a longtime jewelry business in downtown, has left its location at 715 Mass. Cara Connelly, an owner of the business, said the building has sold. “It was just too good of an offer to walk away from,” Connelly said. She declined to release details of what may come of the building. But according to the Register of Deeds office, the building was purchased by Lawrence-based River City Holdings, LLC. Stay tuned for more details on that. Although Silver Works has moved out of the building. Cara and Jim Connelly will continue in the jewelry business. The business will sell silver jewelry at Spectator’s in downtown, and will sell gold jewelry at Mark’s Jewelers in downtown. • A rezoning request for 725 N. Second St. in North Lawrence has been filed with the city planning department. Applicant Steve Glass is seeking the industrial building to be rezoned from IG industrial zoning to IL industrial zoning. The zoning change would allow a wider range of commercial uses to be located in the building.