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Retail rumblings including a new cookie store on Mass. Street, a mattress store going out of business, and a change in venue for a downtown hot spot
From chicken wings to cookies to mattresses: It sounds like a productive Sunday afternoon to me. It also is a set of topics that are trending in Lawrence's retail world currently.
• I've gotten confirmation that a store called Hot Box Cookies will be setting up shop on Massachusetts Street in the coming days. The cookie shop has inked a lease at 732 Massachusetts Street, the former home of 3 Spoons Frozen Yogurt, Bob Sarna, a representative of the building's ownership group, told me.
Hot Box currently operates in Columbia, Mo.. Based on its website, it offers about a dozen different cookie options, including chocolate chip, M&M, oatmeal raisin and snickerdoodles. The business in Columbia also offers shakes, ice cream sandwiches, and good old-fashioned milk to wash it all down.
But this likely isn't your grandpa's cookie shop. According to the website, the store is open until 2:30 a.m. on many nights, which tells me a few people may have a craving for a cookie after they have consumed a certain other type of beverage at their favorite nightclub.
It sounds like the cookie shop may be open as soon as this week.
• A South Iowa Street mattress store is calling it quits. Bed Mart, 2329 Iowa St., will start hosting a going-out-of-business sale on Wednesday.
Gary Lucas, who owns the store with his wife, Kathy, said the store's lease is up and they have been looking to retire.
"We're just tired, basically," Lucas said. "The business is still all right, but we are just too tired to do it anymore. We basically work seven days a week at it."
The mattress market has changed in Lawrence in recent years. The national chain Mattress Firm opened up at 33rd and Iowa streets in the last year, and Discovery Furniture near 25th and Iowa streets has become a major player in the mattress market.
The sector may be one worth keeping an eye on in the future. People in the development industry tell me that the national chain Mattress Hub has been looking for locations in the city. Who knows whether they actually will decide to enter the market, but it is worth keeping an eye on.
• Take this one for whatever you think it is worth, but there's lots of speculation that Buffalo Wild Wings will move out of downtown to set up shop on South Iowa Street.
Multiple sources have told me that Buffalo Wild Wings is the mystery tenant for a proposed restaurant/retail building at 27th and Iowa streets where an Olive Garden was once proposed.
I called a general manager at Buffalo Wild Wings, and she didn't squash the rumor. Instead, she simply said she has heard it too, but said the corporate office hasn't made any announcements yet.
Buffalo Wild Wings currently occupies space at 1012 Massachusetts St., and by all appearances does well there. The South Iowa Street location would allow for a larger restaurant and more parking.
People with a wing-craving, though, shouldn't panic. Any move likely would be quite a ways off. The project would involve constructing a new building on the site. I'll keep my eyes open for something more official on this one.
But actually, I won't have my eyes open much for a few days. Town Talk is taking a break until July 23, while it recharges its batteries. Yes, I suspect it will involve chicken wings, cookies and a mattress at some point in time.