Every new restaurant needs a good back story, right? The one-story building at 20th Street and Central (currently housing Lulu's Thai Noodle Shop on the northern end) has long been subdivided (the office of a nonprofit organization is in another part of the space), and in mid-July, the 4,200-square-foot southern half of the brick and cinder-block structure will become a new restaurant called the Jacobson.
Well, the Jacobson family did operate a business in the building, A.D. Jacobson's Heating and Plumbing, for many decades. Hey, what about the underwear? Writer Ann Slegman Isenberg, the daughter of the late garment-district mogul Robert Slegman - he manufactured the Betty Rose coat line - once dated a younger member of the Jacobson family in her teen years: "They didn't make underwear," she says. "At least, not for most of the 20th century."
Luckily for Michael Werner, the new restaurant will just be called the Jacobson and not the Underwear Factory (which I think does have potential as a restaurant name, or a gay bar), so who cares? When the restaurant opens, it's going to serve "New American Eclectic cuisine" to patrons who live and work downtown. Or maybe on their way to - or from - a concert at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts (the kitchen, Werner says, will be open late).
The completed restaurant will seat 100 in the dining room and at least that many on a very large outdoor patio. Lunch prices will range between $8 and $12, and dinners will cost between $18 and $25.
And, yes, there will be parking (there's a parking structure across the street) with, possibly, valet service in the future. Werner says the Jacobson will offer small plates, happy-hour specials and occasional live entertainment.
Everything, in fact, except underwear.