Regional chain plans to open 2 breakfast restaurants in Lawrence, one of them downtown

photo by: Chad Lawhorn

The old Ingredient restaurant location is pictured, July 27, 2018, at 945 and 947 Massachusetts St.

It has been hard to be an egghead in Lawrence lately. In the age-old question of what came first, the chicken or the egg, the answer in Lawrence seemed to be the fried chicken. But now, fans of the egg can take heart.

The regional chain Jimmy’s Egg has confirmed it is opening not one but two Lawrence breakfast restaurants. I reported in July about speculation that Jimmy’s Egg had reached a deal to locate in the former Ingredient space at 10th and Massachusetts streets.

Morrie Sheets, the Kansas franchise owner for Jimmy’s Egg, told me he indeed has signed a lease for the old Ingredient space and also has struck a deal to open a Jimmy’s Egg in the shopping center at Bob Billings Parkway and Wakarusa Drive.

“It is a great market for breakfast,” Sheets said. “Downtown has some great restaurants already with Wheatfields and Milton’s and others, but we think we’ll do well there.”

Jimmy’s Egg has been in the Wichita market for more than a decade, and it has built up quite a following while growing to seven restaurants in Wichita. The chain, which has its headquarters in Oklahoma City, is owned by prominent Wichita businessman Wink Hartman. If the name sounds familiar, it might be because Hartman is running for lieutenant governor on Republican Kris Kobach’s ticket. He’ll find out on Nov. 6 whether the Statehouse or a short stack is in his future.

Either way, Hartman won’t be the Lawrence operator. Sheets is a KU graduate who has a daughter attending the school currently. He said the new restaurants are giving him a good reason to buy a home in Lawrence.

“We’re excited to really become part of that community again,” Sheets said. “We’ll be involved in a lot of the sports programs. In Wichita, we do a lot of catering for WSU teams. We like to get involved with the students.”

photo by: Photo courtesy of Jimmy’s Egg

A caramel apple pancake combo is pictured at a Jimmy’s Egg location.

In fact, Sheets said he plans to do something with the downtown restaurant that he doesn’t do elsewhere: have late-night hours. Most Jimmy’s Egg restaurants are open only from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., but he plans to open to have additional hours of 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights in the downtown restaurant.

As for the food you’ll find at a Jimmy’s Egg, take a cue from its name. That’s right, there will be a Jimmy at every table. Wait. Scratch that. Eggs are the big thing.

The restaurant touts that the menu choices allow you to come up with 40,000 different omelet combinations. (I hope they have extra large tables.) The menu includes five cheeses to choose from, seven meats — including standards like bacon and ham but also corned beef hash — and 11 vegetables. In addition, the restaurant lets you select a sauce for your omelet. Those selections include sausage gravy, hollandaise, picante and white queso. (I appreciate a variety of sauces so that I can better color coordinate with my tie.)

Pancakes also are big on the menu. The restaurant has one variety it calls a cinnamon roll pancake, which even comes out with swirled frosting. Other pancake varieties — in addition to the traditional buttermilk and whole wheat options — include double blueberry, caramel apple, Reese’s, chocolate chip and sweet potato.

Lunch is also served, with a menu that includes hamburgers, sandwiches, salads and a few heftier items like chicken fried steak dinners.

Sheets said he’s already received a building permit for the needed downtown remodeling work, and he expects to soon get one for the Bob Billings and Wakarusa restaurant, which he said would have a delivery service geared to the large number of offices in west Lawrence. He hopes to have both restaurants open by late February.


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