WRITER: Chad Lawhorn

On the Border Mexican restaurant closes its lone Lawrence location

I have experience with a border wall. I usually hit one after about my 12th refill of chips and salsa at On the Border. Well, that’s one wall no one will have to worry about any longer. The Mexican restaurant chain has closed its lone Lawrence location. On the Border closed its location at 31st and Iowa streets on Sunday, and by Monday morning crews already had removed the big sign from the restaurant. I ...

For McDonald's owner, cup of coffee led to new Lawrence car wash business

Rodger Henry got his money’s worth out of his cup of coffee at McDonald’s. The longtime Lawrence businessman is part of a group that regularly drinks coffee at the McDonald’s at 1309 W. Sixth St. Right across the street from the McDonald’s is a car wash that Henry owned. One day, he asked Tom Dobski, an owner of the local McDonald’s franchises, whether he would ever be interested in owning a car ...

Local home sales show signs of a slowdown; new report shows difference in home prices between Lawrence, Baldwin, Eudora

When you talk about housing activity this time of year in Lawrence, it usually involves a KU game on the television, approximately 32 pounds of cheese dip and maybe a bit too much crimson and blue body paint. But actually, I’m talking about housing activity of a different type today. The latest home sales numbers are out, and they do show a slowdown might be in the making. Thus far in 2019, home sales in ...

Casey's General Store files plans for second Lawrence location

I would guess there is a benefit to living in a town with two Casey’s General Stores. You can buy breakfast pizza at one and brunch pizza at the other. Lawrence residents soon may get to find out. Casey’s has filed a plan for a second store in Lawrence. The Iowa-based convenience store chain has filed plans to build on the site of the former Steak ‘n Shake restaurant at 3111 S. Nieder Road. If you have ...

East Lawrence brewery plans to open new location in west Lawrence; projected opening date for Fields & Ivy brewery

You had better get some industrial-strength kneepads if you want to participate in a Lawrence Beer Co. pub crawl. The East Lawrence craft brewery has filed plans to open a west Lawrence location. The company plans to open a smaller bar and restaurant near Bob Billings Parkway and Wakarusa Drive. Plans call for the new location to open by midsummer at 4811 Bob Billings Parkway. If you are having a hard time ...

Biscuits, not sermons, on menu at new downtown Lawrence cafe owned by church

Most often a four-by-four in my life is used as part of a misguided home improvement project. Now, it can also be a part of breakfast. The Greenhouse Cafe has opened in downtown Lawrence serving square biscuits — roughly 4 inches by 4 inches, the staff touts — and that is just the beginning of the twists served by this new eatery. The biggest one is that the cafe is owned by a church. The Greenhouse Church ...

Another restaurant closes; how the misadventure of self-service dry cleaning is sparking a Ninth Street project

One of Lawrence’s more unique restaurants has closed its doors. Sully & Hank’s, which opened in the former Presto gas station location at Ninth and Louisiana streets, shut down earlier this week. The closing marks the end of what had seemed to be an experiment in slightly funky fare that began with the restaurant’s opening in mid-2017. If you remember, Brad Walters, the former owner and chef at The ...

New west Lawrence food company aims to make healthy eating more convenient

I’ve seen crazy sights at a fast-food drive thru. (I still don’t understand why that Chihuahua was taking my order at Taco Bell for a good part of the 1990s.) But I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone get a turkey taco at a drive-thru. That, however, is indeed possible at a new type of food service company open in west Lawrence. The Lean Kitchen Company has opened in the space formerly occupied by Little ...

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas buys News Center building in downtown Lawrence

As we reported last month, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas has been looking for a corporate presence in downtown Lawrence, and the company has now confirmed it has signed a deal to buy one of the larger buildings in downtown. But before you get ideas of hundreds of new employees for downtown, the health insurance giant doesn’t have those type of plans in the works right now. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas ...

New Lawrence fitness center will have you doing workouts in the sauna

My workout attire of a hoodie pulled tight around my head sometimes causes people to confuse me with Rocky. (In fairness, it may just be because after five minutes on the elliptical, I also only speak in monosyllables.) Regardless, if you too like the idea of breaking a big sweat while working out, there is a new concept in Lawrence: a fitness center that has you do your workout inside a sauna. The fitness ...

Report shows holiday spending couldn't maintain hot pace; a look at the Lawrence industries producing the most sales tax

Last week I ran into a city employee who was taking down Christmas lights from downtown street trees. He told me that meant warmer weather was on the way. As I remove snow from my socks, I now believe that fellow has a great future as a groundhog. But maybe the snow has reminded you of Christmas. I do have a new report on holiday spending in Lawrence. It didn’t end up being the blockbuster it once looked like ...

Local Honda dealership bought by longtime Lawrence competitor

While a lot has changed in the business of selling cars since 1969, one constant in Lawrence has been Jack Ellena. That changed on Friday, as the oldest car dealership in Lawrence announced it had been sold and was changing names. Its new namesake, though, is the one it has been staring at since 1970. Dale Willey Automotive Group announced it has completed the purchase of Jack Ellena Honda and is changing the ...

From Belgian beers to rabbit stew, a new brewpub opens in downtown Lawrence

Stop me if you have heard this one. A chemist and a lawyer walk into a bar ... and then they decide to open one. More specifically, they decide to open a brewpub and become the newest player in a growing craft beer scene in Lawrence. Black Stag Brewery opened this week at 623 Massachusetts St. If you are having a hard time picturing the location, it is in the old M&M Office Supply building. Yes, that is ...

High-tech remodel planned for local McDonald's; Walmart gets 16-foot-tall vending machine

People say I’m not a tech wizard, but I plan to use an iPhone to clear the snow from my driveway. (Once I bury my son’s phone, I’m pretty sure he’ll pick up a snow shovel.) While that maybe doesn’t meet the definition of high-tech, plans for the renovation of a Lawrence McDonald’s restaurant do. The McDonald’s restaurant near Sixth and Michigan streets will undergo a renovation to install ordering ...

Development group still looking for the right fit to fill big new industrial building on east edge of town

The 153,000 square-foot building on the eastern edge of Lawrence currently stores patience. When you construct a large industrial building without a tenant, you had better be well-stocked in that attribute. Leaders gathered Wednesday afternoon for an open house at the first building constructed at VenturePark, the city-owned business park near 23rd Street and O’Connell Road on the east edge of town. The ...

Chief executive of LMH to receive slight bump in salary in 2019

The chief executive officer of Lawrence Memorial Hospital will see his salary hold basically steady in 2019. Board members of LMH Health on Wednesday approved a compensation package of $582,812 for CEO Russ Johnson. That was up less than $1,000 from the $581,945 that he was paid in 2018. Board members said they were pleased with Johnson’s performance. The relatively small increase comes from the unique ...

Renovation work underway to convert south Iowa Street building into gun range

Rick Sells knows some folks like to unwind by hitting a bucket of 50 golf balls. He also knows there is an increasing number who find their relaxation by squeezing off 50 rounds of ammunition into a target. While that growing audience of gun enthusiasts is one reason Sells has spent more than four years trying to open a gun range in Lawrence, it is not the only one. He’s becoming more convinced that people ...

As 23rd Street shopping center prepares to be demolished, businesses are on the move

A shopping center is getting torn down, businesses are on the move, and an old barbecue joint will be offering up new lessons. All this is to say, I’ve got updates on a trio of 23rd Street businesses that soon will have new homes. • As we reported last month, plans have been filed to tear down the shopping center at 1401 W. 23rd St. and replace it with a multistory apartment and retail building. That has ...

Apparel retailer signs deal to locate in former Ernst & Son Hardware building

The basement of the Ernst & Son Hardware building in downtown long had the reputation as a massive storage vault, housing everything from covered wagon parts to things that weren't even useful anymore. Well, that big storage space has helped seal a deal for new retail life at the building. The sports apparel store Jock’s Nitch has signed a deal to move into the space at 826 Massachusetts St. later this ...

Longtime gourmet burger restaurant gets makeover after dispute with city plays part in ownership change

Pergolas have always confused me. I build a patio with a leaky roof, and people call me an awful carpenter. You build a pergola, and people praise you as an artistic landscaper. Whatever the case may be, a disputed pergola oddly has opened up a new set of opportunities for a pair of Lawrence restaurant owners. Some of you had asked recently whether Dempsey’s Burger Pub at 623 Vermont St. had closed. Well, it ...