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Former owner of Lawrence private club set to open downtown restaurant with homestyle food, pizza
Sometimes just to make my doctor mad and my life insurance agent sweat, I get in the mood for both fried chicken and pizza. Well, downtown Lawrence soon will have a restaurant that has both on the menu. The place also will have a dash of Lawrence restaurant history.
I’ve gotten word that Stonewall Restaurant and Pizzeria is opening in the space near 10th and Massachusetts that previously housed Jerusalem Cafe and KC Smoke Burger. A few of you may even recognize the owner of the establishment. Joe Kieltyka and business partner Joel Cundiff are opening the business. Kieltyka was in the Lawrence restaurant business about 35 years ago.
More accurately, Kieltyka was in the private club business. Back in those days, private clubs were the places that could serve liquor, so there were several scattered around town. Kieltyka’s was the Carriage Lamp, a steakhouse and meat-and-potatoes joint that operated in The Malls shopping center at 23rd and Louisiana.
No, Stonewall Restaurant and Pizzeria won’t be a private club. But its menu looks like something you would expect to see only inside a king’s chamber: fried chicken and pizza on the same menu; a pan-seared pork chop and pizza at the same sitting; mashed potatoes and pizza. (For some reason, my life insurance premium just increased.)
The combination may seem a bit odd, but Kieltyka had success with it in Lenexa. For about 35 years Kieltyka and his family ran the Stonewall Inn off of Pflumm Road. It was in an old farmhouse and it was split into two restaurants. One was the traditional sit-down, homestyle food establishment. The second one was a smaller pizza parlor and coffee shop.
The Lawrence location isn’t large enough to allow for two separate restaurants, so they’ll be together. But you don’t have to eat the pizza and the fried chicken together, (I can do it because I have a prescription for cholesterol medicine and a large supply of elastic.) Kieltyka likes the menu concept because it ensures there is a little something for everyone.
The pizza will be New York style pizza, meaning thin crust and large. Kieltyka said the restaurant will sell pizza by the slice.
The other part of the menu is what Kieltyka calls meat-and-potatoes food. He didn’t provide me a ton of specifics, but he did mention pan-fried chicken, pork chops, a weekly seafood special, mashed potatoes, green beans, and maybe a lunch steak special to appeal to downtown employees who have time to take a full lunch.
An old website for the Stonewall Inn in Lenexa, though, gave a few more clues as to what may be on the menu. That site listed catfish, liver and onions, meatloaf, pork tenderloin, some open-faced sandwiches, made-to-order hamburgers, patty melts, plus hand-cut french fries or fried potatoes.
We’ll see how much of that ends up on the Lawrence menu. I know my insurance agent will be watching.
Renovation work is underway at the location, 1008 Massachusetts. Kieltyka hopes to have the restaurant open by April.