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Downtown Lawrence British restaurant Queen Lizzy's closing Dec. 21, but seeking new location


I bet you this has something to do with Duchess Kate’s morning sickness.

Fans of British cuisine will be sad to hear that Queen Lizzy’s Fish & Chips, 125 E. 10th Street, is closing its doors on Dec. 21.

Here’s my theory: Duchess Kate was secretly a regular customer of Lawrence’s only British-themed restaurant.

But now with this pregnancy, she’s having a hard time keeping the bangers and mash down. And thus we can all blame Prince William for Lawrence losing one of its more unique restaurants.

Well, it's a theory anyway, but Queen Lizzy’s owner Matt Poulton told me the restaurant’s location was at the heart of the matter. Simply put, the size, and off-Mass. Street location combined with the rent just wasn’t working.

“This unit is on two levels and it only can fit 31 people comfortably,” Poulton said. “We need to find the right size. We need to find something bigger.”

Indeed, Poulton has not given up on the idea of British cuisine in Lawrence.

“There is definitely a demand for it,” Poulton said. “That’s why we’ll be back.”

Queen Lizzy's won the Best New Restaurant category in Lawrence.com's 2010 Best of Lawrence contest, and it also won in the best Fish ‘n Chips category in Pitch Weekly’s restaurant contest.

So, the restaurant has a following. Poulton, however, said he doesn’t want to make any false promises about when he’ll be able to reopen in another location.

In the meantime, the company will sell a few of its food products at Brits, 929 Massachusetts Street. Those products will include traditional British sausages wrapped in puff pastries, a variety of meat pies and such, and something called Scotch eggs, which is a hard boiled egg wrapped in ground pork and breadcrumbs and then baked.

The company also will continue to serve food at some British festivals around the region and will offer private catering. (Take a look at their menu and tell me you can’t have a wild party with items such as Bacon Butty and Mushy Peas.)

I’ll keep an ear out for any news of a new location for Queen Lizzy’s, and pass it along as soon as I hear. But right now, I need to excuse myself. I’ve been having a bit of morning sickness myself. I was confused last night about what Scotch eggs were.


justforfun 5 years, 3 months ago

Chad, Can you tell me how many times JW has done a story or update on Queen Lizzy's? Quite honestly for a kinda lame place to eat they sure seem to get alot of ink !!

May Soo 5 years, 3 months ago

The fact is if the restaurant is in Downtown, then they will do a story on.

foodcritic 5 years, 3 months ago

Was that comment really necessary? It comes across as mean.

jack22 5 years, 3 months ago

If you ask me, "British Restaurant" is kind of an oxymoron. This place is more of a chip shop and it would be awesome to see it run as such. I was surprised to find it was being run more like a sit down restaurant than the typical get it and go type of place you'd find in England. All the food, the fish, chips, pot pies, etc., should already be cooked/baked/fried and be sitting under a heat lamp at the counter where you order ready to go. This is food one generally gets after drinking at the pub and that one eats while walking home, so there really shouldn't be a great need to wait for it to be cooked or to sit down to eat it. Think of it like a bakery, you walk in, point at what you want, pay, and you're on your way. The way this place is being run, instead of going into the bakery and saying I'd like a loaf of bread, three doughnuts, and some cookies and the guy taking the order gathers them up, you pay, and leave, here the guy taking your order says OK give us 20 minutes while we make your bread and doughnuts.

Bob Forer 5 years, 3 months ago

Agreed. Just because the food is "fast" doesn't mean it has to be of poor quality. I would patronize a fast food authentic fish and chips place, but probably not one downtown because of the parking hassle.

auntmimi210 5 years, 3 months ago

I am neither "disables" nor lazy & I find downtown parking to be a hassle.

Bob Forer 5 years, 3 months ago

I am neither. But your comment suggests you are a jackass. The whole point of fast food is to get it "fast." Do you understand that simple concept?

The primary advantage of fast food is lost when the usual wait time of a couple to three minutes is increased by the time it takes to find a parking space and walking to and from the store.

Did they release all of the angry white men from jail today?

Bob Forer 5 years, 3 months ago

Take a valium with a double scotch rocks and go to bed. Hopefully a good night's rest will rid you of some of that anger.

Frank A Janzen 5 years, 3 months ago

I've noticed that the place has lately been closed before the closing time posted on the door.

chootspa 5 years, 3 months ago

I don't want fish that's been sitting under a bake light, but I agree that it should have all been quick, made to order stuff that required 10 minutes of wait and not 45.

jack22 5 years, 3 months ago

I agree, fish sitting under a heat lamp for several hours would be gross, but that doesn't mean the fish can't be cooked in advance and be ready to go at peak times. I've worked as a cook in several restaurants were it was not uncommon to cook many of the courses before hand and have them sitting in a heated tray ready to go when ordered. When preparing for a big banquet with two or three hundred people the fish/chicken/meat would always be cooked around noon that day and then be stored in a heated container until it was ready to serve that evening. I would assume this is a common practice at a many restaurants that are serving a large quantity of food all at the same time. Having the food already cooked at a chip shop is exactly how it's done in England. If you're not familiar with the practice, think of something along the line of Chipotle, where the meats are already cooked, and all you have to do is choose what you want and they hand it over to you. Could you imagine the wait at Chipotle if they were grilling every chicken or pork burrito from scratch every time someone ordered one?

chootspa 5 years, 3 months ago

If I want Long John Silvers fish, I know where to buy it. I'm no stranger to food service, myself. I get what you're saying, but I think people will wait a few minutes for made to order. Fries can sit a few, but fish gets greasy and gross pretty fast. And I have yet to eat chicken or fish at a banquet without it tasting nasty.

msezdsit 5 years, 3 months ago

The revolving door of restaurants continues in this and the spaces around the corner.

blindrabbit 5 years, 3 months ago

Eaten there several times, but tough to go back: That location is horrible, not sure what it is good for. Service very slow, waitress having to climb those stairs is more than a workout. Thinking back to my times in Seattle and Annapolis and dreaming of fish and chips. Lawrence used to have Alfies and a Arthur Treachers, both were decent and quick service. Need to replicate a good British pub with food,. Good luck in continuing business in a new location!

Bob Forer 5 years, 3 months ago

Was Alfies the place near Sixth and Main? They had very decent fast food style fish and chips.

Ron Holzwarth 5 years, 3 months ago

Yes, that's pretty much where it was, but a bit east of there, on the south side of 6th St. I'm a former Alfie's employee, from about 1977. There's a Taco John's there now, in a totally different building. I was told the food was good long before I worked there, but while I was there, at the bitter end, it was terrible. That was when it became "Alfie's Fish & Chips & BBQ", and the BBQ was made with mostly ketchup. I could see it coming, and had a chance for another job, so I quit about a month before the place closed.

JackMcKee 5 years, 3 months ago

Nothing works at that location. It's a new restaurant concept every year.

headdoctor 5 years, 3 months ago

It wouldn't surprise me if India Palace ends up knocking out a wall and taking over that space. Those smaller places can only generate so much revenue per square foot. Bad management or business concepts do play a major roll in success or failure, however, there are a few places downtown that building owners have allowed one person to own the lease then operate as a blood sucker in subleasing the property. I don't know how that was ever allowed by an owner other than just being to lazy to run their own property. Those properties that are operated like that will only have successful tenants that have a very strong business following. The rest will fail every time.

blindrabbit 5 years, 3 months ago

Synco: Yes, Alphies was on 6th Street, somewhere betwwen Maine and Florida Streets, South side. Operated there in the 60's. I'm not sure they exist anywhere anymore; several of these including Arthur Treachers were bought up by a chain group. Both were pretty good in my opinion.

Ron Holzwarth 5 years, 3 months ago

"Arthur Treacher's Fish and Chips is a fast food seafood restaurant chain. As of 2008, there were 45 stores." (from Wiki)

And, Alfie's Fish & Chips is still up and kicking, judging from the incredibly large number of google hits for locations.

George_Braziller 5 years, 3 months ago

I can't think of a single restaurant that has lasted more than 18 months or so in that location. Probably time for some other type of business to give it a go.

Tomato 5 years, 3 months ago

I liked the food, but half the menu was out of stock on any given day.

And they need a place with real ventilation. It was disgusting in there. It was a chore to eat there - I always felt like I had to have a shower and run a load of laundry after eating there because of the reek of grease in my clothes and hair.

There were several times where we brought up eating there and decided against it because of how gross the location was.

Ron Holzwarth 5 years, 3 months ago

You think that was bad? You should have worked a shift at Winchell's frying donuts and running out to work behind the counter once in a while.

I was a greaser when a greaser wasn't cool!

George_Braziller 5 years, 3 months ago

I lived across the street from Joe's Dounuts for 7 1/2 years. Some people loved them but I always knew when the fryers were up and running. Made me gag every time. I finally bought a house and moved.

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