Monday, February 11, 2013

Lawrence Update: Mirth is moving, the Orient still kicking

Posted By on Mon, Feb 11, 2013 at 1:59 PM

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Yesterday was the final day for Lawrence's seven-year-old Mirth Cafe - at the restaurant's original location (745 New Hampshire). The popular breakfast-and-lunch venue (which The Pitch reviewed in 2010) is scheduled to open next week, according to several of Mirth's employees working yesterday, a couple of blocks away.

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We're taking over the old Pepperjax Grill space at 947 New Hampshire," said one server. "I don't think it's that much bigger, but the ceilings are higher."

The Omaha-based Pepperjax Grill moved to a location at 919 Massachusetts earlier this year. Three months ago, the owners of the Mirth Cafe opened a second location of the restaurant, called Mirth Too, in Tonganoxie.

Another Lawrence restaurant that has changed locations has caused some confusion among Fat City fans.

We have received several e-mails from readers asking if restaurateur Nancy Nguyen's the Orient - which serves both traditional Vietnamese cuisine and American soul food - had closed.

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The answer is no, although Nguyen closed the original dining room at 1008 Massachusetts last year and moved into the adjoining storefront, at 1004 Massachusetts, a space formerly occupied by her son Ted's restaurant, Anglers Seafood House.

"It was too expensive, operating a fresh-seafood restaurant, serving sustainable seafood, in Lawrence," says Nancy Nguyen, who does a boom carryout business selling her Oh Boy fried chicken - a gluten-free deep-fried bird - and Southern-style side dishes such as collard greens and macaroni and cheese.

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