Downtown chain restaurant expanding into west Lawrence

photo by: Journal-World photo/Chad Lawhorn

Construction work is underway on a new Pickleman's restaurant in the shopping center next to Hy-Vee on Clinton Parkway.

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 places in west Lawrence that we aren’t able to deliver to right now,” Lawrence store manager Jessie Hickock told me. “This will allow us to get everyone in west Lawrence in on this.”

Plans call for the restaurant to open at 3514 Clinton Parkway, which is the shopping center that is adjacent to Hy-Vee. Hickock said he’s hoping for a mid-November opening at the new location. The new store won’t have any impact on the existing Pickleman’s. It will remain open at 818 Massachusetts St.

3514 Clinton Pkwy, Lawrence, KS 66047

If you aren’t familiar with Pickleman’s, it has been open in Lawrence for about seven years. The bulk of its business is sandwiches. It has about 20 different sandwich offerings, ranging from your traditional turkey, roast beef and ham offerings to a chicken giardiniera, which uses the restaurant’s own blend of Italian style hot peppers.

All the sandwiches come toasted, and the restaurant makes good use of the toaster in other ways. It has about 10 varieties of thin crust pizza that it runs through its toaster. It is a special toaster, unlike the pop-up version on your counter. (Don’t put pizza in those. Trust me, you want to keep your anchovies away from your Pop Tarts.)

The menu also includes about a half dozen salads including Caesar, an avocado version and one filled with a lot of Italian meats and peppers.

The restaurant actually got its start in Columbia, Mo., in 2005. It now has 24 stores, with quite a few college towns on the list, including Lincoln, Neb., Fayetteville, Ark., and Norman, Okla.

In other news and notes from around town:

• There is a pending closing to report in the shopping center next to Hy-Vee as well. The Anytime Fitness center at 3514 Clinton Parkway will close at the end of the month, according to a sign on the business’ door. The last day to use the gym will be Oct. 31.

As we reported last week, the fitness market may get fairly active as a large, new player plans to enter Lawrence. Crunch fitness announced it has struck a deal to move into the vacant Hastings building near 23rd and Iowa streets. Plans call for about a 35,000-square-foot gym, which would be one of the larger fitness centers in the city. Crunch hopes to open in December.


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