WRITER: Chad Lawhorn

The Granada owner buys The Bottleneck, also takes ownership stake in longtime neighborhood pub

The Bottleneck — the gritty downtown Lawrence music venue that has hosted everyone from Radiohead to Jewel — has a new owner. Mike Logan, who already owns one of the largest downtown music venues in The Granada, has purchased The Bottleneck with a group of investors. “For me, it is Lawrence against the world when we are trying to convince bands to come here,” said Logan, who also operates Abe & ...

Douglas County aviation firm buys Wisconsin company, moving operations to Vinland

When I’m on a flight, I don’t spend any time thinking about where the parts of the airplane came from. (I keep my focus on obtaining free pretzels, which after the fifth serving pretty much takes a full-time effort.) But the next time I’m on a plane, I probably will wonder whether the propeller came from little old Vinland, Kan. McFarlane Aviation Products — based in Vinland, which is an unincorporated ...

Helicopter company setting up operations at Lawrence airport; leaders see more aviation development on the way

Plans to add more job-producing businesses at the Lawrence Municipal Airport have been talked about for years. Now, there are signs they are nearing takeoff. A Eudora-based company has signed a deal to take over an entire hangar at the airport in North Lawrence to repair helicopters. EuroTec Vertical Flight Solutions has completed a purchase of the airport hangar long owned by local pilot Al Stuber. ...

An update on slow-moving plans for new Casey's, QuikTrip in Lawrence

Convenience stores sometimes make me anxious too. When I enter and see the doughnut case only has one creme-filled pastry left, I break into an anxious sprint. It appears some of you are anxiously wondering whether two major convenience store chains are going to follow through on their previously announced plans to build in Lawrence. The short answer appears to be yes, both Casey’s and QuikTrip are still on ...

Preliminary election results

A closer look at Tuesday's election, including an east-west split that still exists, and possible incumbent angst

Previously, one of the few things I knew about sidewalks was: If you wait long enough, the snow will melt. Now, I know another thing: All that rage people had over the city making property owners pay to fix city sidewalks in front of their homes didn’t carry much weight at the ballot box. There were only two real supporters of the city's sidewalk policy, and both of them won on Tuesday night. Stuart Boley ...

Voter turnout for city and school board races near 22%

About 22% of voters turned out for Tuesday’s city and school board elections, which made it one of the better turnouts for local races this decade. Not bad for a night when the Kansas Jayhawks had a 6 p.m. tipoff, which is normally prime time for voters returning home from work. “Historically, as you get closer to the game, the voting drops off quite a bit,” Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew said early ...

New numbers suggest Lawrence's commuter population is growing rapidly

Tucked between Topeka and Kansas City, Lawrence long has been known as a town with plenty of commuters. But the city never has been able to say this before: If you live in Lawrence and have a job, it is now more likely than not that your job is located outside of Lawrence. New federal and state data show that 53% of all Lawrence residents who have a job commute outside the city to get to that job. That number, ...

As city posts lackluster growth of families, a downtown business that serves children is set to close

The days around Halloween are a good reminder of why kids need a place to burn off excess energy. (Even unloading the family U-Haul of discount candy doesn’t wear them out.) Soon, area parents may have one fewer place to take their kids. The owners of Laugh Out Loud Family Zone have announced they are closing their business early next year. For nearly eight years, Laugh Out Loud has offered indoor playground ...

In this July 31, 2018 photo, shoppers walk into a Target store in Methuen, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Local sales tax collections fall for the month; Lawrence on the edge of moving into negative territory

I certainly understand the temptation to go cheap when doing back-to-school shopping. When my son heads off to college, I’m going to make him grow his own bean-bag chair. Maybe some Lawrence shoppers got into that mode as well, as the latest sales tax report for the city showed some weakness during the important back-to-school shopping season. The city recently received its sales tax check for October, but ...

Lawrence Jimmy's Egg locations close months after opening, citing inability to overcome 'radical' claims they were tied to Kobach

One early sign of trouble for the new Jimmy’s Egg restaurants in Lawrence was when adult customers would come with crayons in hand to scrawl “(Expletive) Kobach” on the diner’s tables. But the trouble grew from there, the diner’s owner said, with some people writing the same phrase on his car and smearing excrement on its windshield and door handles. Where the trouble was going to stop was unclear to ...

A conversation with Douglas County Commissioner Michelle Derusseau, including her thoughts on community growth

My understanding of supply and demand mainly comes from simple experiments, like gathering my two kids at the dinner table and placing just one doughnut in between them. Indeed, the market is beautiful to watch. Leave it to free enterprise to figure out how to make a dining table fly across a room. Lawrence and Douglas County, though, are about to embark on a more complicated supply and demand experiment. ...

KU argues with NCAA that Adidas isn't a booster, but sends out flyer to local businesses suggesting otherwise

Whether former Adidas consultants — and now convicted felons — were boosters of KU Athletics is a big question in the NCAA’s case against the university. The NCAA argues Adidas officials were boosters, making their many contacts with KU coaches about recruits impermissible. KU leaders, though, have said they’ll forcefully argue otherwise when they present their case to the NCAA. Related story - ...

Lawrence businessman strikes deal to open one-hour eyeglass center

I love it when I have to go without my eyeglasses for a few days. I end up having the most interesting of cocktail party conversations — usually with the coat rack in the corner. Wait times for eyeglasses, though, may be going down as a Lawrence businessman has struck a deal to open a one-hour eyeglass center. Lawrence businessman Paul Benner plans to open Hour Glasses at a location along North Second Street ...

Soon Saturdays will be full of farmers markets, with new Makers, Bakers & Acres opening in North Lawrence

I could probably wear my pajamas to the Downtown Lawrence Farmers' Market on Saturday mornings, but I would have to give some careful thought to where I would keep my wallet. For those reasons and others, a local resident is starting a new Saturday farmers' market that doesn’t require people to get up so early. Local entrepreneur Zoe Smith plans to host a new Saturday afternoon farmers market beginning in ...

LMH discusses partnerships with hospitals in Topeka, Emporia; Intrust Bank announces new Lawrence president

Whether it be neurosurgery in Topeka or knee surgery in Emporia, LMH Health doctors may soon be a bigger part of it. Lawrence neurosurgeons next month will be allowed to start doing some surgeries at Topeka’s St. Francis hospital, while a pending deal would allow doctors with LMH-owned OrthoKansas to provide services beginning in January at Emporia’s Newman Regional Health hospital. Members of the LMH ...

One year after bankruptcy, future still cloudy for local Kmart plant; other news from area chain stores

Let’s go national today with some news about chain stores that operate in Lawrence: • Sears is a lot like the 1970s-era lawnmower I have from the retailer. It leaves a pool of oil on my garage floor so large that J.R. Ewing once tried to buy the rights to it. (It is so old that it actually still gets J.R. Ewing references.) In other words, both of them are a mess but keep on running. Sears entered ...

South Mass. Street store offering coffee with a kick, plus other CBD products

I thought spiked coffee was something you kept a secret. (Umm, I don’t know why that coffee cup combusted when it got near an open flame.) But there’s a new retailer that has the offering front and center. But, no, the coffee isn’t spiked with alcohol. American Shaman has opened its second location in Lawrence with a new shop at 19th and Massachusetts streets. A major offering of the shop is coffee on ...

Construction workers lift the wall of a home under construction on Silver Rain Road in this file photo from April 2016.

Realtor group begins to worry about Lawrence's growth policies; home sales forecast to decline slightly in 2020

Don’t expect Lawrence’s real estate market to regain its bounce in 2020, a Wichita State economist told Lawrence Realtors on Thursday. A slight decline is more likely for the number of home sales next year. Stanley Longhofer, director of the WSU Center for Real Estate, is forecasting that home sales in 2020 will be down about 3.5% from this year’s totals. Longhofer is projecting 2019 will finish with ...

Old liquor store on Massachusetts Street set to become jiujitsu studio

After spending 3 1/2 years in a motor home as a “nomad jiujitsu instructor,” maybe it is not surprising that Robert Riley ended up at a Lawrence liquor store. But no, this is not one of those types of stories. Riley actually is turning the old liquor store building into a jiujitsu studio, with the help of a business partner who also has his own story of a winding journey. Riley and business partner Charlie ...

Mexican restaurant Tortas Jalisco reopens; plans also filed for a laundromat and a pawn shop

A longtime Mexican restaurant is back from a nine-month break, and it has reopened in a spot that may remind you of its beginnings. Tortas Jalisco has opened in the back room of Empire Bar & Billiards near Ninth and Iowa streets. Being in a pool hall is a new experience for Tortas, but operating a restaurant in a small space isn’t. If you remember, Tortas Jalisco got its start in the corner of a gas ...