For some people, turkey makes them sleepy. For me, it makes me forgetful — as in I forget to breathe in between bites. I don’t know what makes you forgetful, but evidently it is something because I’ve had several requests to remind people about a couple of 23rd Street projects that we’ve already reported on.
So, here we go. Question No. 1 is: What’s happening to the building that used to house Dunn Brothers Coffee at 1618 W. 23rd St.? The answer: It is set to become a Potbelly’s. I know what you are thinking. Lots of us are set to become Potbelly, but this is in reference to an actual restaurant chain.
As we reported in June, Potbelly Sandwich Shop filed plans to locate in the former coffee house, which is just a bit east of 23rd and Ousdahl. The restaurant serves a large menu of toasted sandwiches ranging from a traditional roast beef to a less traditional chicken Mediterranean with hummus, artichoke hearts, feta cheese and several other ingredients.
Desserts also are a big deal at the restaurant. Perhaps this will spark your memory of when we wrote about the restaurant in June: I briefly hyperventilated while reporting that the restaurant serves a milkshake that comes with a straw that has actual cookies on it. (What can I say? I get very excited about innovation.)
As for the Potbelly in its name, that comes from the fact each restaurant has a potbelly stove in it. I believe that harkens back to the restaurant’s beginnings, which were in a Chicago antique store.
No official word on when the Lawrence restaurant will open, but construction work is now well underway. I would guess an early 2017 opening is likely. I’ll try to let you know if I hear an official date.
• Question No 2 is: What are they building next to QuikTrip at 23rd and Haskell? Unfortunately, it is not an addition for a giant Slurpee machine. (Everybody, calm down. I do know that only 7-Eleven sells the actual Slurpee brand. The 1000-foot restraining order requires me to know this.) Instead, a new tunnel car wash is being built next to QuikTrip.
Back in September we reported that plans had been filed at this location for the latest in a bevy of high-tech car washes coming to the city. Well, construction work has begun on a 5,000 square-foot, 150-foot long automated tunnel car wash on the site. The plans also call for 32 stalls equipped with vacuum cleaners.
An Illinois-based firm, Peak Inc., is the developer of the project. Look for other tunnel car washes to pop up elsewhere in the city. Construction equipment has been delivered to the site near Ninth and Iowa streets. As we have reported, the locally owned Zarco convenience store/fuel center company plans to tear down the old Sandbar sub shop and replace it with a tunnel car wash. Zarco also plans to install a 150-foot tunnel car wash at the Zarco station at 1500 E. 23rd St. Yes, that is just up the street from the tunnel car wash being built next to QuikTrip.
Forget everything else that is going on in the news. 2017 is most likely to be the year of tunnel car washes.
Development roundup: the Kasold curve, Myers Liquor and more speculation about a downtown restaurant
All the way back in 2009, we told you to keep an eye on the piece of farmland at 31st and Kasold, also known as the Kasold curve, for a new housing development.
Well, your eye is probably getting pretty tired by now, but there are signs once again that a significant housing development may occur on the site.
Paperwork has been filed at the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Department related to a duplex development that would allow for 126 living units on the just less than 30 acre site at 3309 W. 31st St.
The site also still has property set aside for a new church for Lawrence Wesleyan Church. As we reported back in 2009, a desire for that church to expand is what was driving this whole development scenario. Pastor Nate Rovenstine back then said the church had to purchase a large chunk of property at the curve to secure the site, and was open to parceling part of the area off for private, residential development.
It appears that is still the case. The property already has the proper zoning to allow for duplex development and for the church. Now, it appears, the issue appears to be just how many duplex units the site can accommodate. So, tell your eye to be patient. It is still a corner worth watching.
Speaking of things that have drawn the attention of the eye, some of you have been asking me about the construction work underway at Myers Liquor at 23rd and Alabama streets.
The fact some of you have forgotten surprises me because the project has to do with a drive-thru liquor lane — and normally that is the type of news that Lawrence folks remember.
Back in December, we reported the liquor store was working on a plan to add a drive-thru lane — a first for Lawrence — and also to expand the building by about 1800 feet to accommodate a separate tenant. Well, the construction work underway is proof the plan is coming together. The new space is to the west of the existing liquor store. Owner Christian Walter told me he doesn’t yet have a tenant lined up for the new space, which will about double the amount of retail space on that corner. Walter said he is open to a variety of possible tenants that could be complimentary to the liquor store business. (Just to clarify, that doesn’t mean it has to be liquor-related — although a store that specializes in selling limes and salt would be very convenient.)
Construction work has started now with the hopes of being able to have the bulk of the project completed by the time the KU school year really gets into gear. I’ve heard liquor stores get busy at that time.
While we’re updating items we’ve written about, we might as well tackle one other. Back in May, I mentioned that another restaurant is likely to occupy the space at 814 Massachusetts that formerly was home to La Parilla. La Parilla, of course, has moved to larger space at 724 Massachusetts St.
George Paley, the landlord for the building at 814 Massachusetts., told me recently plans are still on track for a new restaurant to locate in the space. He’s not yet divulging the name of the tenant, but he is squashing one piece of speculation. After our report in May, a few readers started speculating that a diner type of restaurant led by Robert Krause — the high-end chef who founded The Burger Stand — would be moving into the space. Paley told me that is not so. He said Krause isn’t involved with the new restaurant planned for 814 Massachusetts. (That doesn’t mean Krause isn’t moving forward with the concept elsewhere. I don’t know, but will tell you when I do.)
But Paley is very excited about what will be going into his building. He said he thinks it has a chance to be “one of the finer restaurants in the history of Lawrence.” What that means in terms of the type of restaurant it will be, I don’t know. (George doesn’t invite me out for dinner enough.) But when I hear more, I’ll pass it along.