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UPDATE: Buffalo Bob's to close at end of month; Ladybird Diner plans to open along Mass. Street in June; city, county hosting Horizon 2020 meetings

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UPDATE: Since posting the original column this morning, I've had a chance to talk with Bob Schumm, owner of both the Dynamite Saloon and Buffalo Bob's Smokehouse, and he dropped a BBQ bombshell: He's closing Buffalo Bob's Smokehouse after 37 years in business. The last day of business will be April 29. As reported below, he's leased the Dynamite Saloon portion of the building to the Ladybird Cafe. He's in discussions to lease the remaining 3,000 square feet to another restaurant user.

Schumm, 67, who also is a Lawrence city commissioner, said it simply was time to do something else.

"I have employees who are children of past employees of the restaurant," Schumm said. "I always said when I started employing their grandchildren, it would be time for me to move on. We're getting pretty close to that point."

Check back in for a more complete story later today.

•••

As I briefly mentioned on Friday, a new diner is coming to downtown Lawrence, and now I have details. What I don't have at the moment is the money to pay the increased health insurance premium that is sure to come. We're talking about breakfast meat and pie within walking distance of the Journal-World newsroom.

Ladybird Diner will be taking over the spot currently occupied by the Dynamite Saloon, 721 Massachusetts St., and will be operated by a partnership that includes owners of the popular downtown restaurant 715.

Meg Heriford, a server and pie maker at 715, will be an owner and operator of Ladybird Diner. She said plans call for the restaurant to be open in June, once some remodeling work is done at the Dynamite spot. Heriford said she's not releasing many details of the menu quite yet, but said it will be "classic diner fare" inspired by diner foods that she and other members of the ownership group have sampled from across the country.

"I'm the type of person that when somebody has a bad day, my first reaction is to cook a chicken pot pie," Heriford said. "When somebody has something to celebrate, I run to cook a pot roast. I just want to share that with the broader community."

I don't know what type of news you have to share with her to get homemade pie, but I don't think it will take much. She said 715 recently added her homemade pies to its menu, and the response has been strong.

"It is hard to keep pie in that place," Heriford said. "I think a lot of it is that it is hard to find a slice of pie in Lawrence that is not corporate pie."

(I had corporate pie once. I ordered it with extra stock options and a golden parachute, but it left me with heartburn and an IRS audit.)

Heriford said the diner will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

In other news and notes from around town:

• I can't promise there will be any pie involved (in fact, I'm almost certain there won't be), but city and county officials want to hear your opinion on how Lawrence and the surrounding parts of Douglas County should grow. The city and county are hosting eight public forums to get feedback on Horizon 2020, the city and county's comprehensive plan. City and county officials are in the process of updating the plan, and getting some basic feedback from residents is one of the first steps. Here's a list of the upcoming meetings:

— 6 p.m to 8 p.m.., April 16, Lawrence High School Cafeteria

— 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., April 29, Lawrence City Hall

— 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., May 7, Lecompton Community Building

— 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., May 29, Lawrence Indoor Aquatics Center

— 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. June 4, Lumberyard Arts Center in Baldwin City

— 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., June 19, Eudora Recreation Center

— 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., June 30, Douglas County Courthouse

— 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., July 16, Dreher Family 4-H Building, Douglas County Fairgrounds

The meetings will provide a chance for residents to discuss with city and county planners issues such as growth and development, transportation, preservation of historic and natural resources, and infrastructure needs.

Comments

Clark Coan 8 months, 1 week ago

Sorry, but that kind of comfort food is so passé and went out in the 1970s. My tastes have evolved since then.

Rick Masters 8 months, 1 week ago

Can you see Lake Perry from up there on your horse?

Cimmy Redmond 8 months, 1 week ago

Say what? I wasn't even a twinkle in my father's eye in the seventies and I'm excited about Lawrence having this "kind of comfort food".

8 months, 1 week ago

Well, I know I am going to be there. I am looking forward to pie made in the cafe instead of trucked in. If a restaurant buys food from a vendor doesn't that make it the same as a fast food place?

Leslie Swearingen

8 months, 1 week ago

Oh, Chad, just thought, was the diner named after Ladybird Johnson, former first lady and wife of LBJ?

How did I get to be she who must not be named?

LJS

Rae Hudspeth 8 months, 1 week ago

Or is it a play on the old Blue Bird Diner from years ago?

Arnie Bunkers 8 months, 1 week ago

Comfort food did not go away in the '70's Clark. You know better than that

Matthew Herbert 8 months, 1 week ago

The closing of Buffalo Bob's in my mind is addition by subtraction. Bad bbq and bad service.

Clark Coan 8 months, 1 week ago

Comfort food went away for many, many people, Arnie. That's why there are very few restaurants that serve it any more in Lawrence. Yes, I agree, Matthew, with your assessment of Buffalo Bob's. I never did figure out how it stayed in business that long. Here's a version on that Beatles song: Hey, Buffalo Bob, what did you kill, Buffalo Bob...

8 months, 1 week ago

I want meat loaf, mashed potatoes with gravy, and coffee with real cream and banana coconut cream pie.

Leslie

Rae Hudspeth 8 months, 1 week ago

The original "comfort food" is back again... now it's called Paleo and Locavore eating. Food that your granma made.. as the Real Food movement states, "It's not food if your great-grandma wouldn't recognize it." Or rather.. someone's great grandma.. in any country. I just hope they don't chi-chi up the diner idea so much that it prices people out of a good diner meal. I'm a little tired of each new eaterie trying to out-fancy the next. Although... along that pie idea, a simple yet delicious breakfast or lunch quiche sure sounds nice!

Real food is made by people you know, not mass-produced and flash-frozen cardboard held together by scary chemistry and trucked to a restaurant once a week in boxes. This sounds delicious!

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