WRITER: Chad Lawhorn

Downtown chain restaurant expanding into west Lawrence

If you are going to be in the business of delivering hot, toasted sandwiches, you had better get them there fast, or have a toaster with a really, really long extension cord. The downtown restaurant Pickleman’s Gourmet Cafe believes in getting them there fast, which is one of the reasons the restaurant has struck a deal to open a west Lawrence location. “Delivery is really big for us, and there are a few ...

Halloween stores open, including a new store from a longtime local retailer

I’ve been told that any time of year is a good time for me to wear a mask, but for the rest of you, Halloween is prime mask season. Predictably, a couple of Halloween stores have popped up in Lawrence, but this year one of them is a local operation run by a family that has dressed Lawrence residents in funny outfits for years. Kyle Billings, the former owner of Lawrence’s Fun & Games store, has opened ...

Downtown Lawrence grocery project loses Price Chopper tenant, but plans still moving forward

Plans to bring a grocery store to downtown Lawrence are still alive, but still complicated and uncertain. A proposal to put a 40,000-square-foot grocery store on the site of the former Borders bookstore at Seventh and New Hampshire now includes plans for a four-story mixed-use building, instead of the previous three-story plan. But the project is short on something else: a tenant for the grocery store. A ...

National fitness chain plans to open near 23rd and Iowa streets

And you thought picking up the entire collection of "Twilight" novels at Hastings constituted heavy lifting. Now, there is word of true heavy lifting at the vacant book and video store at 23rd and Iowa streets. The national chain Crunch Fitness has announced it is moving into the space. I recently had begun hearing some rumblings in the commercial real estate world that a fitness center was looking at the old ...

How one possible bankruptcy could cost Douglas County governments $550,000 in tax revenues

It is the approximately $550,000 Kmart question. Yes, that would be one blinding Blue Light Special. Don’t expect any savings to come from this question, though. The $550,000 is how much local governments may be out in tax revenue if Kmart’s parent company files for bankruptcy, which some analysts say is looking more likely all the time. At this point, I’ve maybe confused some of you. No, Lawrence ...

New chain that sells mini-hamburgers coming to Iowa Street; Lawrence loses a Sonic

What I know about mini-hamburgers is that they are a lot better if you spell them m-a-n-y hamburgers. You’ll get a chance to find out for yourself because there is a new hamburger chain coming to Lawrence that sells their small hamburgers a sack at a time. The restaurant chain Burgerim has reached a deal to locate in the Pine Ridge Plaza shopping center near 33rd and Iowa streets. If you haven’t heard of ...

Mom did a headstand, and that is a good thing at this new west Lawrence gym

I have had health professionals for years tell me my body is perfectly suited for CrossFit training — cross off ice cream, cross off candy, cross off Doritos ... Actually, that’s not quite how CrossFit training works. But it has become a growing fitness trend, and there is a new business bringing it to west Lawrence. Kaw Valley CrossFit recently has opened at 5150 Clinton Parkway in the building that used ...

Hospital strikes deal to open new facility in eastern Lawrence

Eastern Lawrence is getting a new doctor’s office that will be run by Lawrence Memorial Hospital. The hospital has announced plans for LMH Health East Heights Family Care to open inside the Independence Inc. building near 20th Street and Haskell Avenue. The facility will have a family practice doctor, a nurse practitioner, a trio of exam rooms, and will offer all the services you would expect from a ...

Plans filed for John Deere dealership to rebuild on 23rd Street

This post was update at 5:05 p.m. on Sept. 19, 2018 On May 5, Ken Wagner stood on the lot of a defunct farm implement dealership while he watched a fire on the other side of 23rd Street consume his successful John Deere dealership. It already was clear the Saturday afternoon fire was going to put the more than 60-year old business out of business for quite some time. But while the black smoke was still ...

New report shows Lawrence economy didn't keep up with most metro areas in 2017

Even by Kansas’ standards, the Lawrence economy was a bit lackluster in 2017. By nearly everyone else’s measuring stick, Lawrence’s economic performance was near the bottom of the pack, according to a new set of federal statistics. The new figures measure gross domestic product for all the metro areas across the country. GDP is basically the sum of all economic activity that takes place in a community. ...

Lawrence still tops in one alcohol category; Budweiser maker gives local company top award

A two-game winning streak by the KU football team is producing a variety of reactions: Meteorologists are checking for a cooling front in Hades, K-State boosters are ensuring their pigs still don’t fly and Jayhawk fans are growing their empty aluminum can collection, if you know what I mean. Plenty of businesses know exactly what I mean. Liquor is big business in Lawrence, and it becomes bigger if KU ...

What types of shops do you want in downtown? As vacancy rate climbs, downtown group wants to know

Get out your wish list for downtown Lawrence. As the city’s main business district posts a higher-than-normal vacancy rate, downtown leaders want to know what types of stores or businesses you think downtown Lawrence needs most. Downtown Lawrence Inc. is in the early stages of a project aimed at gathering data about wants and needs in downtown, with the hope it will be able to use the information to create a ...

Another business on 23rd Street to be converted into self-storage center

Perhaps some of you remember the old Bargain Depot store near 23rd and Harper in eastern Lawrence. I have news of its pending redevelopment. It could be described as the circle of a bargain. Man goes into Bargain Depot, a cornucopia of tools, camping supplies and home improvement gadgets. Man comes home with a truckload of very sound investments. Man finds out that when storing a floor jack a dining room floor ...

Lawrence ranked as a top college town; a look at how far KU has fallen in top college rankings

We are definitely in full college town mode these days as students are back, evidenced by the large amounts of bean bags and lava lamps being carted out of Walmart. (Despite rumors to the contrary, I’m convinced dorms are still filled with those items and that college kids still know how to buy items in a brick-and-mortar store.) Regardless, know that Lawrence again has been ranked one of the best college ...

Plans filed for new retail zoning near 23rd Street and O'Connell Road

I’ve previously told you there was interest from Casey’s General Store about building near the eastern Lawrence intersection of 23rd Street and O’Connell Road. Well, I don’t have news that such a development is about to happen, but there are signs that developers are preparing the area for some sort of convenience store development. Plans have been filed at Lawrence City Hall to rezone about four acres ...

East Lawrence business of 68 years bought by local real estate developer

Sometimes you have to replace so many windows it makes sense to buy an entire glass company. But enough about my weekend golf outing. I actually have news of a pending sale of a longtime Lawrence business, which has the potential to change the East Lawrence landscape as well. A deal has been struck for the family owners of Kennedy Glass to sell the business at 730 New Jersey St. to a Lawrence real estate ...

Community breakfast highlights $1.5 million given to Lawrence Public Schools

The Lawrence community raised more than $470,000 in donations last year for public schools, and Lawrence’s superintendent told a large crowd Friday morning that he already has another goal for the district. “I’ve read where Lawrence is the most educated community in Kansas,” Superintendent Anthony Lewis said at the Lawrence Schools Foundation Community Education Breakfast. “If so, it just makes sense ...

After more than 15 years, downtown coffee shop on the move, expanding breakfast menu

My bladder often hurts just thinking about East Ninth Street. There are three big-time coffee retailers in the one-block stretch just east of Massachusetts Street. One, however, has struck a deal to move to Massachusetts Street. Z’s Divine Espresso has closed its location at 10 E. Ninth St. and soon will reopen just around the corner at 914 Massachusetts St. That’s the building just south of the US Bank ...

Tabletop games fuel new business growth in south and East Lawrence

There’s a new “Warhammer” trend in Lawrence, and it is bringing with it characters like Exalted Deathbringer, Slaughter Priest and Chaos Sorcerer Lord. But don’t be fooled. Warhammer is not creating destruction in the city. Thus far, it has created two new Lawrence businesses. Warhammer is a tabletop game that involves mythical creatures — like Mr. Deathbringer — conquest, strategy and, of course, ...

KU has nearly $20M that doesn't show up in budget documents; chancellor, others using it to make mandated cuts

KU Chancellor Douglas Girod has made only one actual spending cut as part of a mandated $20 million budget-cutting initiative, a review by the Journal-World has found. For most of the other budget adjustments he has made, Girod has used money from a reserve fund that doesn’t show up in the published budget for his department. KU officials confirmed that many departments across the University of Kansas have ...