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Breakfast restaurant The Big Biscuit to open near Sixth and Wakarusa; Spangles closes its lone Lawrence location
We're just two days into 2014, and already this new year is conspiring against my utter devotion to high fashion.
Signs have emerged that the popular breakfast eatery The Big Biscuit will be opening a restaurant near Sixth and Wakarusa. That's of course a major fashion story in my household because biscuits and gravy are the ultimate Thai food. Check that. I mean Tie food, as in if there is a bowl of sausage gravy anywhere within a mile of me, my necktie will find its way into it.
According to signs that are up on the building, The Big Biscuit will be opening in the Westgate shopping center, which is the center that has Marisco's, Glory Days Pizza and several other longtime businesses. The restaurant will be taking the large, center anchor position of the shopping center. It will be the restaurant's sixth location. The other five are in the Kansas City metro area, with the closest one in Shawnee.
I've been out of the office for nearly two weeks, so I'm playing catch-up on this story. (Not to be confused with ketchup, which also makes a frequent appearance on my tie.) But I'll put a call into the business today to see if I can get more details about when the restaurant plans to open.
As its name suggests, the restaurant specializes in breakfast fare. According to its website, the restaurant has nearly 60 breakfast dishes on its menu. I'm talking about 11 omelets, ranging from your traditional Western omelet to one called a Ranchero that actually has grilled steak, jalapeno peppers and other ingredients. There are also nearly 10 kinds of pancakes, including a cinnamon roll version, blueberry, strawberry and banana pecan.
The restaurant also is open for lunch with a menu that includes a variety of burgers, sandwiches, chicken dishes and wraps. Of course, breakfast is also served during the lunch hour as well.
I'll let you know when I hear more details. In the meantime, I'll start shaving this beard off that I had started to grow over my vacation. What? You know what a beard and biscuits and gravy are, don't you? A to-go meal, without the to-go box.
In other news and notes from around town:
• If your New Year's resolution involved dressing up like Elvis and having a Turkey Turkey on Pita, it appears you now have one less option in Lawrence. According to the signs in the window, the Spangles near Sixth and Kasold has gone out of business. (What? You don't dress like Elvis when you go to a 1950s-style diner?)
As I mentioned earlier, I've been away growing a beard, so I don't have any info from Spangles yet on its decision to close the Lawrence restaurant, or whether it has any plans to reopen at another location in town. But I'll try to get in touch with the Wichita-based chain, which has restaurants in many of the larger cities in Kansas. The Spangles at 3420 W. Sixth St. was its only location in Lawrence. (SEE UPDATE BELOW.)
The restaurant made a big splash when it entered the Lawrence market. About 250 people camped outside the doors — I'm talking about in actual tents in the parking lot — when the restaurant opened in April 2006. Campers, who stayed through a thunderstorm, were hoping to win a contest where the first 100 people at the restaurant would win certificates for a year's worth of free meals.
It will be interesting to see what was behind the decision to close the Lawrence location some seven years later. I wasn't there often, but the restaurant seemed busy when I was there.
But, of course, a crowd always follows The King.
UPDATE: I chatted with Dale Steven, one of the owners of the Spangles chain this afternoon, and he confirmed the restaurant has no plans to reopen in another location in Lawrence.
"We're very disappointed but we would sure like to come back," Steven said. "We would like to look at other locations in town."
Steven said the company — which operates 28 restaurants across the state — decided that the location near Sixth and Kasold simply wasn't producing the sales the business expected. Steven said he thinks a location closer to Kansas University would be a better fit for the business.
Steven said Spangles leases the location at 3420 W. Sixth Street, which used to house a Runza restaurant. He said Spangles is trying to sub-lease the space to another tenant.